by Nan Jones @NanJonesAuthor
I stood by the river’s edge. The water was still. Pristine. My reflection looked back at me from the calm surface above the water’s depth. As peace settled upon me, I sat down among the dry, brittle leaves which days before blazed with autumn’s glorious burst of color.
Isn’t that just like us? We go from the bursts of victorious color to dry and brittle attitudes that litter our faith-walk with dull brown crackles.
I closed my eyes.
My shoulders relaxed.
And I breathed easy for the first time in a very long time.
Opening my eyes, I noticed the river’s surround of copper, red and yellow juxtaposed against the periwinkle blue of an October sky. My stress-hardened heart began to melt because of the beauty of God’s creation, the assurance of His Presence with us always.
And I rested.
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Finally, I’m learning to rest in God.
In my quest for understanding God’s rest, I discovered a remarkable truth. Isaiah 28:2 reads, “This is the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest. This is the refreshing.” The original Hebrew for ‘rest’ in this passage is menuchah meaning a place of stillness, consolation, a quiet place.” So, this verse would read, “This is the menuchah with which You [the Lord] may cause the weary to rest…” A cross reference took me to Psalm 23:2, “He leads me beside the still waters” or, “He leads me beside the waters of menuchah [the waters of quietness]. *
I thought about quiet waters and what makes them so. Quiet waters are still. They have no boulders, no debris to disturb their calm.
And quiet, still waters reflect.
Is it possible the Lord’s message here is that when we learn to come to Him, to be still, cease striving, and remember that He is God — is it possible that in those still moments we see His reflection there with us and our soul finds rest?
Yes, I think so. God pursues us with His love. He instructs us to come to Him and lay our burdens down — to be yoked with Him so that He may carry the burden. When we cry out to Him, He responds. But I’ve learned that if I don’t cease my striving, and step away from my busyness, the quiet waters He desires for me are just that. Water.
Ain’t nothin’ quiet about those waters.
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Even if I’m thirsty.
I can’t see His reflection because of the fast current and debris disturbing the place I set aside to meet Him.
I can’t hear His sweet whispers because of the gurgling noise of distractions.
I love that in God’s eternal plans and purposes, He desires to lead us beside the waters of menuchah [the waters of quietness.] He’s stretching His hand out to you and to me. Won’t you take hold? Won’t you be still. Cease your striving. And remember that He is God?
I want to. I need to.
It is in that place we find His rest. His peace. His victory.
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*New Spirit Filled Life Bible, Thomas Nelson, 2002, p. 904