Beside Still Waters
Being retired is not an automatic transition into rest and relaxation. In fact, most of my retired friends agree that this time of life seems to be busier than when we were going out to work for 40 or more hours during the week.
A beautiful verse in the well-known Psalm 23 says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.” Still waters literally means, “waters of rest.”
When you read the New Testament, you will find that Jesus never hurried anywhere. You never see Jesus doubling up his schedule because he stayed too long with the woman at the well or spent an extra day visiting with Mary and Martha. Even Mary, Jesus commended for choosing what was better between hustle and bustle and being quiet in Jesus’ presence.
God knows that we can’t develop a godly character and meaningful relationships when we are constantly on the run. For this reason, he set aside a day of rest for people to use as a way of slowing down long enough to not only worship their Creator, but to reflect, rest, re-organize priorities and most importantly, to hear His voice.
Hurry does not promote spiritual intimacy. Indeed, hurry will most often drown out the voice of God speaking to us. Jesus was more productive in three years of ministry than most of us will be in a lifetime, yet he never hurried anywhere and he often withdrew from the crowds to quiet places for prayer and rest.
Relationship with God and with others requires time and focus. It requires quiet togetherness. Expect God to take you to green pastures and still waters as you pray for your relationship with Him to grow deeper and stronger. And if it seems as though the grass is parched and dry and the waters are a bit rough in your life, take some time, as Jesus did, to withdraw to a quiet place and rest. Rest in Him.
Father, thank you for calling us to a day of rest. Help us to honor, not only our time with you, but time with others so that we may build strong relationships and enjoy intimate moments of peace and rest that only come from your presence. In Jesus’ name. Amen.