Sounds like a dream vacation or simply wishful thinking in our busy lives, lives taken up with tediously attending to tasks and to-do lists that take hold of our time. It’s difficult to remember that we choose how to use our time. And many of our lives have the added stress and strain of caring for someone distressed or disabled. Rest appears almost impossible. Regardless of the daily difficulties, simplicity and silence must make their way into our lives, because we need the opportunity to remember that God is the Good Shepherd, the great Physician, the Restorer of our soul.
I have found there is simplicity in quietly calling out to the Lord, using the various names He is called in Scripture. Max Lucado’s book, Safe in the Shepherd’s Arms: Hope and Encouragement from Psalm 23, mentions several of God’s names and what they mean.
When you are confused about the future, go to Jehovah-raah, your caring shepherd.
When you are anxious about provision, go to Jehovah-jireh, the Lord who provides.
When your challenges are too great, go to Jehovah-shalom, the Lord is peace.
When your body is sick and emotions are weak, go to Jehovah-rophe, the Lord who heals.
When you feel like a soldier stranded behind enemy lines, go to Jehovah-nissi, the Lord is my banner.[ref]Max Lucado, Safe in the Shepherd’s Arms: Hope and Encouragement from Psalm 23 (Nashville: J. Countryman, 2002), 51–52.[/ref]
Calling out to the Lord doesn’t require being on vacation, nor need it be left to wishful thinking. You can call out to the Lord in your car with the radio off, at work during a five-minute break, or at home while cleaning or cooking or caring for one who depends on you. I urge you in your prayers to speak one of His names as often as you think of it. Although using His names offers no greater power to your prayers, it serves as a helpful reminder to you of the breadth of His character. Here are a few ideas:
Lord, you are Jehovah-raah, my caring shepherd.
Jehovah-raah, be the shepherd of my soul.
Jehovah-raah, as the caring shepherd, provide for me.
Whatever your need is at this very moment, allow your mind to rest on God as you speak His name. Remember Psalm 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God” (NIV).