Don't Lie Down In The Valley
by Major Danielle
I was praying with a friend the other day
who struggles with what I and most of the people I know also
struggle with: procrastination. (This could explain why I’m
leaving this article to a late night encounter… but back to
the point.) While praying through the classic Psalm 23 (the
Lord is my shepherd), it struck us that while one of the
verses talks about the valley of the shadow of death, the
context of the verse is actually movement—passing through,
moving through, getting through, etc. The movement of the
Psalm suggests that we move too, through even our darkest
times. We don’t lie down in the valley. No, we get up and keep
Another verse I often use for comfort, Psalm
91:1, says that we can rest in the shadow of the Almighty, the
One who is leading us. In the scorching heat of the desert
(context of the verse) lies shade we can rest in, follow, and
remain in to find relief in the midst of the journey. Again,
God is leading us and we are following Him. Through that
process, we can exchange our worry for His rest, peace, and
My husband shared at an event we spoke at a
few weeks ago, speaking on the classic invitation that Jesus
gives in Matthew: “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy
laden and I will give you rest.” To my surprise, instead of
landing there, he focused on the verse that follows: “Take my
yoke upon you and learn of me for my yoke is easy and my
burden is light.”
Wait. What does a yoke (think oxen working
in a field) have to do with rest? How can they be related?
Then these things flooded my mind:
The people of God had to fight for their
rest. (The Promised Land had to be conquered.)
When the people of God finally got to the
Promised Land—the land of rest—they had to do something for
the first time in a generation: they had to grow their own
food. Rest involved movement.
When Jesus felt overwhelmed, He added to His
schedule. (All night of prayer anyone?)
Salvation, and the way it is talked about in
the Bible, always involves movement. It is a way to walk, a
place to enter, a new way to live.
Trouble comes when we make salvation a
static thing, and when we believe the world is about how to
solve our fatigue.
Culture says, “Feeling tired? Try doing
nothing today. Watch some TV and hang around.”
This might be my own issue, but have you
ever felt better after one of those days? Now, don’t get me
wrong. Having a day off is a fine idea , especially if it
involves soul refreshing time. The Sabbath was meant to create
a rhythm of refreshment and was always a part of the promised
life, but we often embrace a life of entertainment, mindless
activities, and lazy postures, buying the lie that those
things will give us rest.
And. They. Don’t.
Feed laziness and you breed more. Feed
lonely bitterness and you get even more lonely. We reap what
So, what am I saying? Stand up. Get up.
Right now. Do something. Write. Dream. Play. Go for a long
walk in a beautiful place. Take your kids on a wagon ride. Go
to the gym. Read your Bible. Pray. (Try praying on your knees
just for fun).
Don’t lie down. Don’t do it. The Bible says
to be prepared because the enemy roars around looking for
someone to devour. Be prepared for a battle, and fight for
your rest. Real rest—the spiritually-filled kind. Add a whole
night of prayer to your already packed schedule. I dare you.
Find a posture that commits to changing the world. I’m
literally humming the classic, “I get knocked down, but I get
up again, and nothing’s gonna keep me down” as I write this.
Many of us have had our hits. And the enemy
hits hard. But this is a battle. We are in a war, and we have
got to keep moving. Salvation isn’t a prayer I put in my
pocket and hope it works when I’m in trouble. It’s a new way
to live. So, let’s live it. Walk out what you already know.
Live what you’ve already learned. Stop learning more until
you’ve actually implemented what you already know.
Stand up. Get ready. Let’s go.