My husband and I have adopted the tradition of christening each new home with a name that reflects our vision for the life to be lived there. With a shimmering lake just outside of our backyard, it seemed fitting to include something related to water in the title. If I remember correctly, at the time we were discussing various ideas we were at the breakfast table with a great deal of volume filling the room. Peace and quiet suddenly sounded VERY appealing. And then it occurred to us: Still Waters! For He leads us beside them.
Psalm 23 doesn’t say that our Shepherd blocks us from all noise or removes us from all stress or eliminates our enemies or gives us perfect health or promises us immortality. It does say that He makes us lie down in green pastures and leads us beside still waters and restores our soul. What does this mean to me? An oftentimes frantic mom and absentminded wife? It reminds me that even in the driest of deserts I will find sustenance and in the most exhausting of days I will find quiet. But there is one important factor that cannot be overlooked. “He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
To experience the nourishment and peace that come from being led by the Shepherd, we must follow the Shepherd. Our lives must be lived in the righteousness that brings glory to His name. The entire chapter of Psalm 23 is about peace in the midst of the storm, comfort in the face of calamity, understanding within the discipline. Why? Because the contrast illuminates the Cross. As long as we are living on this planet, obedience to Jesus and His Word will never be second nature; it will always require intentional commitment on a daily basis for every individual. For me, it requires setting aside time each day to be still long enough to read in the Bible and pray. I can write out verses that address particular areas of growth that are needed in me and my family and display them throughout our home. I can eliminate habits of mine that trigger dissatisfaction and complaining, just to name a few examples. How about you?
Whoever enters this home will quickly see the raw reality of life with little people rapidly learning, growing and testing. They will see spaces of my life that are barren of the fruit of the Spirit. They will probably cringe at the less than ideal tones emanating from my voice. My prayer is that in the midst of all of this chaos they will experience peace as they witness Jesus faithfully leading His sheep beside STILL WATERS.