Over the years, a farmer plants thousands of crops, often rotating crops to allow the ground to restore the depleted nutrients. Sometimes crop rotation isn’t enough and the farmer must leave the ground to fully rest. In Nebraska, where I live, there are sprawling farms as far as I can see in all directions. Most years, there are rows of corn or soybeans, but every now and then, we will pass an empty field with only low growing, ground cover. The ground cover will prevent erosion and at the same time protect the top soil from being blown away in storms and winds. It is essential for the health of the soil and the health of the seeds which will be planted there in the future. At first it may seem a waste of space to not utilize the ground all the time, but a wise person knows rest is vital for the journey too.
I have been in need of a fallow season lately. My health has not been strong for a while now and the different doctors I have seen have slowly been testing and checking off what I do and don’t have happening. It’s frustrating to not be able to work as long as I would like, to need to stop and rest, or worse to not be able to start at all. I have told God that I am upset and I have also made a point ask Him for help to let it go and allow Him to have control. It may seem small, but giving God control is not easy. A simple word search for rest in Scripture shows it is used over 300 times. But it is not enough to be spoken, it must also be understood and obeyed.
Being still is a way to rest in God’s timing and His plan, which often go together. I think that is why the verses in Proverbs 3:5-6 bug me so much. Trust in the Lord, with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.
There are four directives in these two verses:
- trust God
- don’t focus on your own understanding
- acknowledge [look to, recognize His position as God]
- follow God where He leads you.
The fallow season is because He knows best what I need. It’s not what I want, it’s what I need. Like a toddler who wants to continue to play, but the parent knows the child needs a nap. God may be preparing me for something else in the future, but if I cannot obey Him to rest and refresh myself for this season, how will I be able to have the energy, the ability, or the stamina to go forward with Him?
So as this new month begins and the ground around me is frozen and covered in snow, I am praying for God to reach me in my struggles and doubts and help me put down the burdens I carry and find rest in Him alone (Psalm 62:5). Dear Ones, where are you struggling? Are you finding doubles where there should be peace? Maybe it’s time to let God take control. If there is no joy left for your journey that is a definite sign. Ask Him to meet you where you are and help you loosen your grip and relax in His presence. He will give you all you need.