He leads me beside still waters—Psalm 23:2
Life on this earth will never be completely devoid of storms. Whether we experience them metaphorically or meteorologically; they will occur. Sometimes they are distant and do not impact us personally and at other times they are close and affect our environment, our relationships, our finances, our health, our peace of mind and wellbeing.
Concerning environmental storms St. Paul writes, “For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now (Rom 8:22). Even the earth fell when mankind sinned. Death entered in, leaves fell from the tree branches, harsh winds began to blow, sweltering heat beat down upon the earth, snow fell, floods came, once peaceful waters began to rage and swell. Storms will take place until the very end of time.
Into our lives, storms came also. Adam and Eve’s peaceful marriage experienced discord, a loving, cohesive, functional family experienced sibling rivalry, disdain, dysfunction, and murder. The Bible shows us how sexual sin and perversion entered in. How mankind began to plot against one another to overthrow and exterminate, evil ran rampant, influenced once good-hearted human beings to turn bad, and places of power were sought after and occupied by the wicked.
Storms of every kind began to rock the entire earth: Relational storms, economic storms, political storms. This is the world everyone—except for the first man and woman—are born into. It is the world we enter in and exist in. Every day, somewhere, a storm is brewing or disrupting the lives of people, even God’s own elect.
We are the sheep of God’s pasture, he loves and cares for us, but we are not immune from storms: neither meteorologically nor metaphorically. They will come out of nowhere at times and destroy everything in their path and we are left putting the pieces of life back together as best we can. We will not escape storms but because we are the apple of his eye, his dearly loved, while we will not be able to avoid all storms, God will do something wonderful for us: he will lead us to quiet or still waters. He will give us a time and place to catch our breath, to recoup, to be refreshed. The quiet or still waters are not ones we will find in the world, but in Christ; in his presence there is peace, and all who return to him, look to him, follow him will experience what it means to sit beside quiet waters.
God alone “gives rest to the weary” (Matt. 11:28-30) and rewards with peace and calm those who keep their mind stayed on him (Isa. 26:3). He
It has been said that God not only gives us what we need he gives it to us in the best possible way, leading us beside still waters amid the raging and stormy world. This is the mark and nature of a true Shepherd; knowing how and when and what the sheep in his care need and making certain they have what they need while he leads them home to be in the safety of heaven and presence of God, eternally. Let’s Pray
Heavenly Father, Dear Shepherd, though the storms keep on raging in this life we have in you, a quiet place. In your presence we discover still waters, calming waters that refresh, strengthen, and restore us. We thank you Lord, our Good Shepherd, for watching over and caring for us on this journey. When the storms of this life become too much to bear may we seek you and find you and be quieted in you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen