December 10 2022
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.
I woke up very early this morning thinking about today’s Pastor Chat on the 23rd Psalm. What was on my mind was the phrase, “He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul”. I couldn’t help but remember over the many years of ministry how my Wonderful Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ, has led me “beside the still waters” of His Word and His Presence to “restore my soul”.
We live in a busy, chaotic world that often overwhelms us and drags us down and we desperately need a time of refreshing. Like sheep we can get confused, frustrated and agitated very easily and we need our Great Shepherd to give us special care and restore our souls. This morning I recalled a very special time several years ago that the Lord gave me such a day when He did that with His beautiful creation and a dear friend.
It was on October 24, 2011, that Pastor Lane Hasson (our Rainbow Forest Children’s Pastor) and I decided to float down the James River in kayaks from the Horseshoe Bends to Buchanan Virginia. It is about a nine-mile float and would take most of the day. Every summer we would attempt to kayak the James River several times, fishing as we did. This particular fall morning was a little chilly, but the river was very calm except for the rapids.
After we went through the first, the biggest, and most challenging rapids right at the beginning of the float, Pastor Lane immediately began to fish. (He always kept count to see who caught the most at the end of the day.) On his first cast, he exclaimed, “I have a big one”! Sure enough, he caught the biggest small mouth bass we ever caught on our many times out. I always packed my cell phone in a waterproof case and a plastic bag to keep it dry during our time on the river. But this fish was so big we had to get a picture, so I took it out.
Little did we know but that would be the only bite and only fish that we would catch that day. (We normally would catch anywhere from 50 to 100 fish.) At first, we were very disappointed that the fish weren’t biting. But soon it became obvious that this was one of the most beautiful fall days we had ever experienced. Since my cell phone was out, and the fish weren’t biting, I began to take pictures of the river and the scenery.
The Lord gave us one of the most special days that can only come once in a lifetime. The river was so calm, and the leaves were at their peak of changing that often you could not tell the difference in the reflection of the trees in the river and the trees themselves. Pastor Lane and I both felt the Lord’s presence in a special way that day! We must have remarked dozens of times how awesome God was to create something so beautiful and then give us the opportunity to enjoy it for a day. But He also allowed us to capture the day in pictures that I want to share with you today!
I never thought about it till this morning how, that if you put the two phrases together without the period, you could read it this way: “He leads me beside the still waters where He restores my soul.” Remember another verse in Psalm 46:10-11: “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah”
I trust the Lord will give you a special “still water” day in your time of anxiety and you will be still and know that He is a Great God who will always love and care for you! I also hope you enjoy my “Still Water Day” pictures as much as I do. (I have them on my computer screen saver, so I see them daily).