Quiet Waters

I’ve read the opening verses to Psalm 23 countless times, but it was only today that I felt the impact of these words in a tangible way:

He leads me beside quiet waters.
Again, I have read this so many times before that I had completely missed the significance of the statement.

  • The Lord is my shepherd” – Check. Got that. God is leading things, and He knows what’s what.
  • I shall not want” – I like how it’s stated in the New Living Translation – “I have everything I need”. As long as God is my shepherd, He assures that all of my needs will be met (although His sense of timing is quite different from mine).
  • He makes me lie down in green pastures” – I’m coming to appreciate the fact that sometimes God has to compel us to rest, since we don’t usually do it ourselves.

I had made these observations before, but it was only today that the statement about the “quiet waters” got my attention:

He leads me beside quiet waters. 

The only way that I can appreciate that He’s leading me “beside quiet waters” is when God removes any – or in some cases, practically all – of the distracting influences in my life. Otherwise, I’m pretty sure the Psalmist would’ve remarked that God “leads [him] beside waters,” but not necessarily quiet ones.

It’s only when the distractions and worries of life – our finances, our careers, our relationships, shifting world events, and other such things – are stripped away, that we start to realize that we don’t perhaps have as much control over our lives as we thought we did. Only then do we begin to notice the quiet waters around us. Before then, we were just busy going about our daily lives, fairly oblivious to the fact that green pastures and quiet waters were just around the corner.

But that’s not the kind of life that God wants for us. So, in His own tough-love kind of way, He’ll allow our circumstances to get disrupted so that we have opportunities to (re)discover the green pastures and quiet waters that have always been within reach.

In order to notice that something is quiet, you have to first be still. Then, you need to be paying attention to your environment. You also need to be calm. When these three things are in place, you start to notice things around you, and will begin to appreciate the peace that is available when your perception of the world involves quiet and stillness.

If you don’t believe me, then just take a moment to go to the beach, if one is near you. You’ll notice that – generally speaking – the waters are usually pretty quiet, but it’s the people on the beach who are noisy. 

It’s a simple experiment – simply go to the water (if you live in a waterless place, then I don’t know what to tell you, sadly), and stare at the waves. Notice how your thought processes begin to change as you find yourself in the presence of “quiet waters”.

I am grateful that God has stripped away so many of the distractions that were in my life – painful though it has been. These things were choking out my ability to appreciate the green pastures and quite waters around me. Today has been the first day when I have truly been still, and not tried to figure out how I can resolve the multitude of issues in my life in my own strength. 

Instead, I have accepted the fact that I’m lying down in the green pastures, and I am being led beside the quiet waters. And I made the decision to no longer resist. Instead, I plan to simply enjoy the view!

Here is my prayer for today: Thanks, Lord, for this humbling lesson. Truly, I control nothing. Instead of complaining about what I don’t have in my life right now, remind me to simply enjoy resting on the green pastures, and appreciating the peace of the quiet waters. You’ll let me know what next step You have in store for me, whenever the time is right. In the meantime, I’ll rest. I plan to hang out here in the green pastures and by the quiet waters until You tell me it’s time to move on! In Your name I pray, Amen.

5 thoughts on “Quiet Waters

  1. I hadn’t looked at it like this before. I loved this post so much! 🙂 Makes me wish I lived near water though. 😂 My grandma has a lake so I know what you mean; taking a stroll by still waters is so peaceful. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! A good friend of mine had to point out this principle of rest to me (about God stripping away the distractions), but this is the first time that the “quiet waters” thing popped out to me in Psalm 23. I take it as confirmation from the Lord.

      Your comments are such an encouragement to me – thank you! 😀

      I wondered about people who live in land-locked areas, though. There are no rivers or streams near where you live? Or maybe a small lake or reservoir? 😮

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hadn’t considered either of those so thank you and thanks to your friend! 🙂

        😊 ♥ I’m so glad! Your posts are always an encouragement to me. 🙂

        There is a creek down the road but it’s not very big; I could probably walk through it no problem, since it runs through the ditch. XD There are a few large lakes about 30 minutes away, and the Arkansas River is about an hour away from me. I love being near large bodies of water, but I also have a healthy fear of them because I can’t swim. But because I don’t live near a large body of water (or a pool), I can’t learn to swim. So it’s kind of a catch 22. 😜

        My grandma has a lake. I posted some photos last month: https://followinghimbesidestillwaters.wordpress.com/2017/02/08/tuesday-photo-challenge-mirror-lake/ It’s my favorite place to walk by the still waters; it’s usually very peaceful there. 🙂 Sometimes the geese come, and they are kind of noisy with the honking, but they are still pretty cool. Wish they’d come close enough so I could get some photos though, haha.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Your photos are beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing them with me! 😀

        I think the pictures from her grandmothers house perfectly exemplify what “quiet waters” been in the Bible. The photos I saw on your website showed perfectly still and pristine water. It must be so quiet and peaceful there!

        Thanks again for sharing. I appreciate you and your encouraging blog posts, too! God bless you. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you! ♥ I’m so glad you enjoyed those. 😊
        I wonder though, which body of water was the Psalmist referring to when writing that?
        It is! 🙂 Last fall I took over 200 photos around the lake. Most of the quiet time was spent taking photos instead of being still. Oops. XD
        Aww, thanks! 🙂 **blushes** God bless you too! ♥

        Like

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