Psalm 23 is not the only place in scripture where God talks about providing the people he loves with rest.
In the Song of Solomon we are also shown that he wants to give us rest. The woman is speaking in these verses about her life working for brothers who hate her and also about the life she has because of ‘the one whom her soul loves.’
“Do not gaze at me because I am dark,
because the sun has looked upon me.
My mother’s sons were angry with me;
they made me keeper of the vineyards,
but my own vineyard I have not kept!
Tell me, you whom my soul loves,
where you pasture your flock,
where you make it lie down at noon;
for why should I be like the one who veils herself
beside the flocks of your companions?”
Song of Solomon 1:6-7
This woman was unloved and not cared for. Her brothers who should have been providing and caring for her used her to work in their vineyards This was a woman who was working so much her outward appearance showed it. She was not like one of the well cared for wives of the king who were shielded by the sun. Her skin had been subjected to the sun over and over again in the heat of the day. She was working so much for her brothers she had no time to care for her own vineyard. She then speaks of the rest and care she receives from ‘the one her soul loves’.
“where you pasture your flock,
where you make it lie down at noon”
Song of Solomon 1:7
At times we are the woman who shows the signs of wear and tear. Rest has not been ours for a long time. We may be running around trying to obtain rest and even then it is not found. I know I am making a list in my head of all the things I want to get done before Mothers day so it can feel like a day of rest. I want the laundry done, the kitchen including the fridge clean, the whole house picked up, and so many other things before I can enjoy or take that rest.
In this world we live in rest is hard to come by. If our bodies are at rest our minds may still be racing around thinking of all the things to do. If we take a restful vacation what did we need to do to get to that point of rest?
The woman in the poetry is not one who has prepared herself for the rest. She knows that the world she lives in will not be the people or place where she can find rest and peace in. She does know that ‘the one whom her soul loves’ will make her rest.
If you are reading this right now thinking I have lost my mind, this woman has no idea all the things I need to get done, you may be right. I do not know all the things that may need to get done. I do not know what your life looks like right now but I do know the God who loves you, who loves you deep down to your soul. He does not love you because you have worked in your vineyard (whatever that may be). He does not love you because of all you accomplished. He does not want to give you rest just because you have done so much. He loves you and gives you rest because of who he is. He looks on you with love and care.
On the days when the to do list never ends remember you do not need to do them to gain love and rest. They may need to get done. They may need to get done to serve the people around you but find rest in knowing that you do not need to do them to get love. You are loved in spite of all that you get done and all that you leave undone. Knowing that will hopefully bring a peace and a rest to your mind if not your body.