He leads me beside still waters. Psalm 23:2b
From all my years of traveling and fighting the noise in hotels at night, a sound machine is my answer for getting to sleep. I like the gentle water sounds especially. They are conducive to resting.
That is why God promises to lead His children beside still waters. In Hebrew, the words for ‘still waters’ are “mai menochot”, meaning restful waters. They flow slowly and calmly, bringing peace to a person’s spirit.
I have a cat named Geoffrey. He loves to drink from the faucet. He sits and stares at it until you notice him. He’s high strung. The stream has to be just right or he won’t take a drink no matter how thirsty he is. If I turn it on a full stream, forget it. If it just drips, he’s annoyed and just sits there. He waits for the perfect slow stream to take his drink. Still waters – even for cats.
Every living thing needs water to live. Sheep, before they repose and graze in God’s hand-picked pastures must first quench their thirst.
Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman in the Gospel of John about water. He said that it was possible to take the kind of drink where she would never again be thirsty. At first, she confused His message with tangible water since they were sitting at a well. But His message was about spiritual water, revealing that the drink He was talking about would save her soul, not her body.
The message and its implications were earth shattering. “It is possible to drink from Me in such a way that you will never again believe you have to have the love of a man to live. Your life will no more depend on fickle sources of water.”
This woman drank and was filled with the love of Christ. Her soul, thriving in an instant, ran to tell of the One who forever changed her appetites. Perhaps, even though she was a Samaritan, she knew the invitation from Isaiah 55:1 Everyone who thirsts, come to the water. At first, she was unaware of her deep thirst. Spiritually, she was dangerously dehydrated and had passed the point of thirst. Only as Jesus talked with her and pinpointed her need did her heart come alive enough to recognize her need.
“Go call your husband,” Jesus said. Beside still waters, much happens. We engage in a way that normal life makes impossible. We listen, quiet ourselves, and ponder. In the stillness, the Shepherd speaks, unearths our great need, and offers Living Water. He is the water. A contagious testimony is born.
You’ve transformed my needs to my need for One. Amen