He Can’t “Make” Me Do Anything – or Can He?

Vegetables. They have their place. I know I make fun of them, a lot. But I have a special relationship with green things. Green is my favorite color after all.

However, there is one memory I have growing up that makes me get that nasty taste at the back of my mouth. My mother tried to “make” me eat asparagus. And I did my best to resist her.

There they were, three stalks of the apocalypse – my nemesis before me. And my mother laid it out, I must stay at that table until I eat those three evil creations grown in the depths of hades. I gawked, I rebelled, I complained, I cried, and … you get the picture. After almost 90 minutes, she whittled the number down to one, eat only one. I rolled it up in a piece of bread and tried to hide the taste. I took a bite.

And then …. and then … I threw up. Yep, spewed the ‘sparagus right on out. She sent me to my room. And I just like that, she never tried to “make” me eat veggies again.

In the 2nd verse of the 23rd Psalm, it says … He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.

Wow, this sounds so relaxing, so calming, so serene. But do you see the first verb. He “makes” me. The verb means he causes us to do it, his actions bring it about in us. This might mean he “makes” me through enabling me or he “makes” me through enforcing me.

He enables – he takes away the fears, the friction, the reasons not to rest. He provides reasons to rest and relax. He provides green pastures where we feed and find our sustenance … which is found in His Word and in Him. And when our fill is full, we lie down. Maybe that’s why I like Sunday afternoon naps.

And … He enforces – He “makes” us lie down. Through discipline, through use of circumstances, and through sovereign control, he brings about what he desires in our life. We may fuss, squirm, cry, etc. but he “makes” us. No amount of vomiting sways his determination. A financial crisis to get us to trust, a pandemic to get us to slow down, a thorn in the flesh to get us to realize his grace is sufficient, or a wilderness experience to get our attention.

What will it take in your life for him to “make” you lie down and trust him?

He may not have caused this pandemic, but he sure might use it to “make” you slow down, focus on him, trust him, and find rest. He sure used it on me.

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