Growing up on a fishing resort, I would often find a quiet space near the lake to let my mind wander, as I gazed at the water. Because the resort was located on what had once been a peninsula, there was water to my east and to my west. Almost every window in the house had a lake view. In my teen years, I would slip out at night, look at stars and watch the moon dancing on the lake, as I contemplated my future and where life would take me.
I resonate with the psalmist and a Shepherd God, who leads me beside still waters. Still waters is variously translated in Bibles as “quiet waters, tranquil waters, peaceful streams, restful waters, water of refreshment, quiet pools of fresh water, refreshing waters or waters of rest.”
However it is translated, there is something primordial that draws us to the water. There we can collect our thoughts and ponder our life circumstances.
I love the sound of waves breaking on the shore, bubbling brooks, waterfalls thundering and roaring rapids. Sitting along a shoreline and looking out over the water, I feel tension slipping away.
The shepherd leads us, not to the churning waters of chaos, or the roaring of a flood, but to soul resting places, knowing our need for healing. God has designed the world in such a way that spirit healing comes to us as we rest in God’s good creation, and soak in the beauty around us.
God invites us to slow down, to drink in God’s presence and trust our Shepherd to watch over us, as we do.
“He leads me beside still waters.” Psalm 23:2b