I was exhausted. It had been a long week. The usual, really – work, family dinners, catching up with friends and church activities. By the time I got home after Sunday church service, I was tired out. Thinking about the new week ahead, with my calendar packed full, the stress began to overwhelm me. That was when I decided, “Ok! I’ve got to get out for a while, not to think about my ‘to-do’ list, but to enjoy some alone time with my Creator. It’s time for a ‘Date with God’!”
So I went to the nature spot near my home – Singapore Botanic Gardens. The weather was cool. The sun was setting and I began a stroll through the lush greenery. It felt so good just to slow down my pace, relax … and B.R.E.A.T.H.E.
I saw families and friends having picnics, and joggers with their dogs. A leaf spiralled in the wind. The light blue sky was dotted with white cottony clouds. Birds flew over me. Sun rays danced on the grass. A sudden breeze swept my hair across my face.
When I reached the Swan Lake with its shining waters reflecting the beauty of God’s creation, Psalm 23:1-3 came to mind – “The LORD is my Shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.”
Psalm 23 is a beautiful song of praise penned by King David to describe his close relationship with God. It’s even more meaningful because David actually grew up as a simple shepherd boy looking after his father’s sheep at Bethlehem, yet God chose David to become the king over Israel, and gave him success in the fights against his enemies.
As I quietened down to reflect on this psalm, I thought, “Yes, God. I really needed this time of rest. Thank You for this reminder that You are my Shepherd and I can find rest in Your presence.” I realised the reason why I felt exhausted was because I had been relying on my own strength to get through the busyness instead of depending on God. I had forgotten to let the Shepherd lead me through the week, and so I got anxious instead of trusting Him with my needs. No wonder I was tired out. In the midst of busyness, there is even more reason to set aside time to be alone with God, my Source of life, to be refreshed and fruitful.
By the time I reached home after my ‘Date with God’, my heart felt much lighter and happier. The situation hadn’t changed (a busy week was still coming up), but my perspective had. I knew that I didn’t have to face the new week alone as God would be by my side to guide me. Even if difficulties are to come my way, I can be brave to face them, as the good Shepherd is with me and I can trust Him to lead me through.