Before we begin ‘Still Waters’ discussion… Other pages are still under construction, but you can check out the About Me page to learn more about recent changes here.
No rush, but still waters await
It’s Tuesday, which isn’t Monday, so I expect things are looking up for you a bit today? I hope so! If you’d like to catch up, just follow this link to yesterday’s post. From that post, if you want to go further back, just click on the arrows at the top of the blog post. Although I don’t want to rush through the study, I do want to respect your time, so let’s get right to those ‘still waters’. We’ll be looking at in Ps. 23:2.
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Discovering still waters right where you are
There is something uniquely divine about stillness. I often use videos available through YouTube to bring an atmosphere of peace to our home through our TV screen. I always use it for my granddaughter’s nap time, to take her from the Realm of Wide Awake to the Land of Nod. If she is resistant, I sometimes will take her closer to the screen so she can see it, and hum in harmony with the music being played. (It’s slow music so finding the harmony part is usually pretty easy.) I confess, it’s a bit like ‘tricking’ her to sleep, but it works.
Once I take her to her crib and turn on the ‘ocean’ to drown out outside noise, I return to the rest of the house to work on house duties (or I come here so I can get a start on my next post, EBA course, or assignment. Regardless of where I go in the house, one thing goes with me, my ‘walkie-talkie’, a.k.a: baby monitor. Because the ocean is playing in her room, the sound coming through the monitor is an ongoing roar-ish kind of sound and from here, the ocean sound doesn’t sound so much like an ocean.
Polluted airwaves: Turn ’em off!
One of the monitors is usually settled in the living room and one thing I’ve noticed about it is that it would likely send me to sleep pretty fast were I playing it in my bedroom. But in the open-eyed remainder of the house, that little box is quite the aggravation! I have to work pretty hard to ignore the raspy noise and focus on whatever task is at hand!
After naptime, one of the first things I do as I bring ‘Baby-cakes’ back into the Realm of Wide Awake, is turn the box off. Immediately, my brain says, “Ahhhh!” I sit for a moment, savoring the peace. Sometimes, this is the kick-off to additional study and prayer. This same sensation comes after 30 minutes of watching a toddler’s educational TV channel. It even comes after several hours of having ‘soothing’ music play in the background! Why is that? Because after a while, it all turns into pollution.
Still waters: Like the calm after a storm
World to world
My husband and I can give an even better analogy, however. We live near VA Beach, VA. It’s the most densely populated city in Virginia. That means lots of traffic. As a Coast Guard military family, we were stationed a few times on the Eastern Shore, accessible via the Chesapeake Bay-Bridge Tunnel, from Virginia Beach. After returning to ‘this side of the water’ upon retirement, we became occasional tourists to that ‘other world’ called the Eastern Shore.
Chaos to peace
The difference in the atmosphere when we emerge on the Eastern Shore side of the CBBT is almost unbelievable! Along Rt. 13, north of the CBBT, the extreme traffic and the noise that goes with it, is gone. The only time this may not be truth is summer week-ends and holidays. So every, single time we go over, my husband and I breathe a huge sigh of relief when we hit ‘The Shore’.
That’s what I was tryin’ to say!
And THAT is what stillness with God is like. When we get really alone and really still with him, the atmosphere changes and folks, these illustrations are the absolute best I can do at describing the feeling that comes with his Presence. There is a feeling of anticipation coupled with a feeling of relief. And gratefulness is there, too. You are so grateful to have his Presence with you that it’s hard to think of anything else. Lastly, there is this feeling of thickness…not heaviness or oppressiveness, but a feeling as if you could almost reach out and touch him!
We reflect best from still waters
I shared earlier that I often have background videos playing in my home. Sometimes the music is lifting, others, it’s lilting. At times I use cheerful music for morning wake-up. Other times, it’s Christian music to help me learn a new song for our praise and worship team at church, or because I need the extra boost music lends to Scripture to help it ‘get in there’! This afternoon, because the baby was a wee bit cranky, I selected a peaceful, ‘Tim Janis’ music video and the scenery was mind-blowing! There was one that was particularly amazing: A snow-covered mountain with a lake at its base. The background to the mountain was that deep blue everyone loves to have in their camera shots. The lake in the foreground was the most amazing part, however.
The lake was so still, it gave a perfect…absolutely perfect, reflection…a mirror image of the mountain! And tonight as I ponder the glory of that mountain in the picture, I’m reminded that this is what it’s like when we meet with God intentionally and keep still. He will use our still time to plant his image within us. We won’t be God, but we will reflect him. I believe the more time we spend, the smaller our image of self will be and the clearer his image will become.
A simple challenge: Find God in your still waters
Today, I challenge you to take the time to notice God’s presence with you. I will give you a link to a video that will be helpful. Listen to it for 30 minutes to an hour. No need to try and ’empty’ your thoughts, just turn them over to Jesus as they arrive.(1 Peter 5:7) After the time limit you set, turn off the video. Now, get yourself still in a room away from others. If you have young children with you, wait until nap time. Settle yourself and wait. It’s good to have your Bible on hand in case the Holy Spirit whispers a scripture for you to contemplate. When you feel the change in the room, thank him. The Holy Spirit comes at times like this and brings to mind the words we need. He will also remind of people or issues you need to pray about!
When we consider the stillness of a body of water, we understand that although nothing is showing on the outside, there is all manner of movement taking place beneath the surface. Likewise, God is also working beneath the surface of our lives.
Philippians 2:13, (NIV)“for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”