The wooden deck creaks slightly beneath my deck chair. Reflected trees, sky and clouds shimmer on the smooth surface of the lake. A slight breeze whispers across its surface causing mild ripples that travel languidly to the shore. There is no splash in response, no sound of water lapping, just a visible representation of movement.
The twittering of birdsong and the rustle of fallen leaves are all that accompany me as I sit and gaze out. A lovely sense of calm fills my senses. Restful, soothing, and regenerating, I breathe it deep into my body and soul.
Suddenly, two crows drift across the cloud-scattered sky and settle in opposite trees. Loudly they proceed to caw to each other, the chuff of squirrel talk joins in, the droning of a motorboat rises and falls as it speeds along to a nearby dock, and in the distance, the honking of a flock of geese. And still beneath the onslaught is the calm of the still water, which continues to bring a sense of peace, gentleness and rightness.
There are times in our lives when we desperately need some still waters to restore our souls. Life is hectic, noisy, full of decisions, stress, anxiety, and duties. Our hearts, minds and souls feel heavy and burdened with it all, and a sense of fatigue seeps into everything we do and think. We long for rest, deep soul soothing rest.
The Lord calls us, pleads with us, to come and rest in Him.
He desires us to find time to be quiet and experience Him and His rest, to place all our cares, worries, ambitions and doing at His feet and soak in all that He is.
If we turn to Him and intentionally carve out time to be alone with Him, he promises to lead us beside the still, soothing waters that will calm our frazzled minds and souls more than we can imagine. He can do this because He knows our needs better than we do and, He sees what we often don’t want to look at.
The Lord has blessed us with a world filled with beauty that moves us and fills us with awe and wonder. But how often do we take the time to enjoy it and allow it to feed our souls with the glory and splendour of our Creator?
We need to be intentional to make the time, even mere moments, to step out into it and soak in His greatness, His might.
Find a moment to marvel at the broad-reaching limbs of the mighty oak tree, stand on a bluff and feast your eyes on the expanse of a great lake or ocean and let the scented breeze from it inspire you , or seek out a waterfall and fill your ear with the power of its thundering waters. There are night skies silently waiting to take our breath away with their vast array of stars. Mountains long to be climbed, to display their magnificent vistas and remind us how small we are. Simple meadows with soft, whispering grasses wait to give rest and show the fascinating yet simple bumblebee feeding on its life-giving clover or flowers. There we can watch the gentle flutter of a butterfly and be filled with wonder at its intricately painted wings.
God created a host of wonders to fill our souls with rest and delight. When was the last time we did?
Some of us have more on their plate than others; I get that. I remember the days of crying babies and endless diapers. Times of anticipation of sliding into a hot, bubbly, soothing scented bath only to hear a tap at the locked door and a small voice ask, “Mommy, can I come in?”. Work days that left me exhausted, frustrated and heartbroken, only to be greeted by mayhem when I walked through the door. Weeks and months of angst and suffering when you are not sure what tomorrow will bring. The endless demand on your time and energy.
But even 5 minutes can make a difference.
I remember a friend telling me how she would lock herself in the bathroom 15 minutes before anyone else got up so she could have some time with the Lord before the madness ensued. Maybe it’s on our drive to work when we can play some worship music and talk to Jesus. Perhaps take 10-15 minutes out of our lunch break at work or possibly while the kids are napping or watching a show and step outside to acknowledge the beauty around us. Look around in gratitude at the hand of our Creator and soak Him in! Enlist the help of your husband, friends, family or even your neighbour.
Because it’s not a want, it’s a NEED!
The LORD commanded us to rest when He instituted the Sabbath day in Exodus 20:8-10. The word Sabbath means intermission or to desist from exertion. In other words, rest, take a break. However, in Mark 2:28, Jesus claims that He is Lord OF the Sabbath, meaning He IS the Sabbath, HE is where we go for our deep, soul-refreshing rest.
Oh dear friends, it is so easy to get caught up in the go, go, go of life and lose sight of what is most important. Jesus! He is our rest and our hope and He longs for us to sit at His feet and soak in the still waters. I am praying for you!