“He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.”
As soon as we were out of the car, we could hear it.
Following the sound, we encountered a faint path through the thick undergrowth. This led us gradually lower, a meandering trail lined with wildflowers.
The sound of running water grew more distinct.
One last turn, and there it was – a lovely, clear brook splashing over rocks smoothed by eons of constantly flowing water.
We chose a spot where a few large rocks gave us natural seats. Out came our packed lunch.
We munched, content.
Insects buzzed lazily.
Clouds, unhurried, traced the path of the sun. Leaves rustled. The gentle current lulled us to sleep.
Refreshed, we removed our socks and tested out the water – clear and cold. Minnows darted. Grasses whispered compliments in the quiet.
It was good to be alive. The sights and sounds soothed and rejuvenated body and spirit alike.
It was hard to leave. We needed to tear off the bandaid all at once. It hurt. To walk away from that idyllic brook was to leave a piece of paradise, and head back the the frenzy of reality.
Life is harsh.
Work is a necessity. Schedules and deadlines and the demands of performance are a big part of our day to day living.
The moments at a stream’s edge are few and far between.
Which makes the famous 23rd Psalm all the more appealing.
See, somehow, we have this expectation that serving God will be a dull affair in which all of our personal satisfaction will be wrung out of us. We visualize a never ending list of rules and regulations and a big stick prodding us into the narrow path.
The picture here is green meadows – representing sustenance, richness, beauty, a soft place to lay one’s head. And peaceful streams – a source of water to quench not only the physical thirst which demands satisfaction, but also the spiritual thirst which drives so much of our behaviour, our quest for fulfillment.
Hear the trickling water, calling you down the path further into the forest. Feel the softness of the grass on bare toes. Allow your senses to be lulled to sleep – the sights, sounds, even smells of nature that provide true rest. That is the picture – the break from the frenzy we know as the rat race, the ability to breathe deep and enjoy the moment at hand.
The offer stands – right in the middle of the busy moments of life, we have access to this peace because it is not found in a place but a person.
His presence is like the stream, the trail through the meadow, the place of safety and rest and rejuvenation. When the frenzy gets to us, we need to run here, tuck in, remember what is true and right and good, curl up and become centred in who we are because who we are is His.
Need a break with the frenzy?
Yeah. Me too. The more frenzied it feels, the more I need the stream.
Make your way down the path to Jesus with me?
Father, how we need the peace of Your presence when life feels frenzied! Remind us that we are invited to the stream, have access to that place of peace, whenever we need it. Thank You for Your provision. Amen.