He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul. (Psalms 23:2b, 3a NKJV)
Still waters, in Hebrew, “waters of rest.”
Still waters run deep…a quiet or placid manner that may conceal a more passionate nature.
I came across a saying while reading recently that I had never heard before. An empty wagon rattles most. I would be willing to bet that you can think of at least one person that embodies an empty wagon, reverberating noise bouncing around. Lots of fluff, not a lot of depth. These people tend to wear me out. They listen, not with the intent to understand, but instead with the intent to reply. This is the antithesis of still waters.
My husband and I have told our children many, many times, “You know, it is ok, not to talk.” They begin rattling on and on in the silence, feeling the need to fill it up. What is it that people fear in silence? What are we really afraid of hearing there? Why do people resist spending time quietly in the presence of God? Michelle McKinney Hammond says, “It’s amazing how many people say, ‘I don’t like being quiet, because when I get really quiet, I have to deal with myself.’ What they are really saying is at they don’t want to deal with the voice of God beginning to reveal things that need to be changed or rearranged in their lives. Intimacy automatically breeds change in our lives. When we don’t want to change and we want to just keep everything the way it is, we keep running from ourselves and from the voice of God. We get caught up in the busyness of life until we crash and burn. When we spend time in the presence of God and learn to really be still and listen, we hear Him saying, ‘I am Peace. I am Provision. Ultimately, I am God. I’ve got your back. I’ve got this situation in the palm of My hand.’ ”
“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.(1 Kings 19:11-12)
If we can sift through all of the other noise and allow the quiet into our lives we will suddenly understand the rest and refreshment available beside the still waters. It may require us to examine some painful areas in our lives that we would rather ignore but in that quiet we will also find healing and grace. We will begin to find something deeper, something more meaningful than white noise. Those deep, still waters, have quieted many an empty wagon rattling along life’s surfaces.