The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide, and to shield me], I shall not want. He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still and quiet waters. He refreshes and restores my soul (life); He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
I've been thankful for opportunities to be out in nature and walk during this pandemic. In some states, the stay-at home orders are beginning to lift, and life will begin to ramp up with more busy moving about. It's been a long time for many of us to stay at home, a trying time to be without work and to have schedules so disrupted. For me, the time of reflection, hikes, and being with family has been good, and as things move toward opening I want to be able to hang on to those quiet spaces. I've been okay with the long days, the loss of time, the times reflection.
For many it's been a fearful and frustrating time. I was thinking about the difference last evening as we walked by a very forceful river and waterfall. It did not exude peace or safety at all, but commanded respect and distance. Just like the pandemic. As I watched the water rush down the rocks and under the bridge I was standing on, I was very aware and thankful to not be in the water. The power of the river could take anything in its path, leaving nothing.
How does someone feel at peace with that kind of force and danger? it's one thing to sit beside a bubbling creek, and quite another to be at a rivers edge.
Standing on the bridge I considered both. God is both. Life is both.
This pandemic has taken lives. It has forced its way into all our lives in one way or another. It has challenged peace, raised questions, stirred up turmoil. It has also slowed many of us down, opened new streams of communication, strengthened family ties, and challenged us to look at our priorities. It has given us time to rest.
God absolutely does lead us beside still waters, He also allows us to experience the force of wild water. He is there in both cases offering peace. The stillness of our lives is an inner choice. A choice that is sometimes very difficult when their is an out of control force of power at the door.
i have wondered what this pandemic is preparing us for, God promises to turn trials into triumph. The days ahead as we reopen will be challenging as well. We want to move on, and still dam up the force that threatens our borders. We want to live in peace, and believe in safety. But, now many of us have a new awareness of unexpected waters.
I have watched God lead my heart through many unexpected torrents, to places of celebrated calm. I have noticed that questions pop up every time, through it all, and God stills the angst I sometimes feel. I have witnessed Him calming the force of the rushing invasive power to a still calm peace within. His ability to protect the deepest needs do not waver through the unexpected torrents of turmoil.
Whatever is happening in your life today, and however you have experienced the unexpected wave of changes the last few weeks, my prayer for you is that you will know His peace through all of it.