Psalm 23 Series for the Twenty-first Century: Life Out of Control

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.

Which type of stream are you drinking from?

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash