originally posted February 28, 2011

“Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me…” –from Psalm 23

I sit for the fourth day in a row, resting.  I just returned from an unexpected ten day trip, there is much to take care of at home, and yet, I sit.

The sinus infection from a month ago returned, and once again, knocked me flat.  I wonder why.  And yet, I know.

The shepherd’s rod and staff have two primary functions: one protects the sheep from predators, the other disciplines the sheep–keeping them in line–protecting them from themselves.  The latter is my current situation.

Though the trip was unexpected, and there is much to do, there are more important things at stake than the state of my kitchen or the need to unpack the suitcases.

A retreat was needed, a retreat from the stress of my job, and mostly, a retreat from the way I have been thinking about life.  A great deal of that kind of thinking cannot be done while trying to organize my bedroom or plan the week.

This kind of thought, the kind of scripture study necessary for this life change can only be done from a position of humility.  And there are fewer positions more humble than laid out in my recliner, downed by a second round of sinus infection.

“Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me…”

And though I sit, with headache and sinus pressure, I feel the comfort of my God Who is more concerned with getting my perspective back on track than letting me go into the week with bags unpacked.  I am comforted that this God of mine is more concerned with the instant message conversations I have had from this prone position, normal conversations, fun conversations, conversations that build each other up…because that is more important to Him than whether my clothes are put back in their proper place.

“Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me…”

And so He protects me from my over-analytical, over-active, over-committed self.  He allowed me to be laid flat because He loves me too much to let me wear myself out stressing over small things.

“Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me…”

photo by Sebastian Pothe

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