I had never witnessed a body of water raging like this one. I was drawn to it.
Thompson River is the most remote of several rivers, crossing from North Carolina into South Carolina and flowing into Lake Jocassee. The river drops some 1750 feet in just over four miles. Car-sized boulders line the river, and the raging water is so deafening one can hardly hear another person talk or an animal walk. While the river appears out of control, it isn’t. Steep embankments, uprooted trees, and rocks cage it in.
When life seemed out of control, David says his great Shepherd led him to green pastures and still waters. “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters” (Psalm 23:2 KJV). God could have taken him to the opposite of these two things, but this would only have intensified David’s pain.
Raging waters parrot an out-of-control life, while quiet waters mirror contentment and peace, regardless of our circumstances. I’ve slept by raging waters—Thompson River included—but I’ve never slept peacefully by them. The noise, along with wondering what I was not hearing outside my tent that might endanger me, kept me awake. Peaceful streams, on the other hand, lull me into a childlike sleep.
When life appears out of control, God’s Spirit will take us to peaceful streams…quiet moments. God invites us to eat from green meadows that give spiritual, emotional, and physical strength. Meadows entered through prayer and quiet meditation on his Word. Then he tells us to drink from the peaceful stream of contentment.
Believing God guides and controls our circumstances, regardless of how things appear, takes us to the soul-refreshing waters of peaceful existence, while trying to handle life on our own only leads to inaccessible raging rivers.
Martin Wiles is an author, teacher, and freelance editor currently residing in Greenwood, South Carolina. He and his wife Michelle are founders and editors of Love Lines from God (www.lovelinesfromgod.com). Wiles has authored Grits & Grace & God and Grits, Gumbo, and Going to Church (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), Morning By Morning,Morning Serenity, Grace Greater Than Sin (America Star Books), Authentic Christianity (Smashwords) and is a contributing author in Penned from the Heart (Son-Rise Publications), and Rise (Chaplain Publishing). He has served as Regional Correspondent and Sunday school lesson writer for the Baptist Courier and also written for LifeWay’s Bible Studies for Life curriculum. He has also been published in Open Windows, Proclaim, The Secret Place, Upper Room, Light from the Word, Reach Out Columbia, Mustard Seed Ministries, Journey Christian Newspaper,Common Ground Herald, The Quiet Hour, and Power for Living. He is a regular contributor to Christian Devotions, and PCC Daily Devotions, and is a regular contributor for the Dorchester County Eagle Record, the Orangeburg County Times and Democrat, and the Greenwood County Index Journal. Wiles also serves as the Managing Editor for Christian Devotions , the Senior Editor for Inspire a Fire, and as a Proof Editor for Courier Publishing. You can follow him @linesfromgod.