I stood in the snow, looking over the banks of the river. The low temperatures had caused the surface of the water to freeze overnight. It looked as if the river had stood still.
I am often amazed at how the water continuously flows, every second of every day. But today it looked as if it had come to a complete halt. It was an unusual yet beautiful scene. Our church services had been canceled due to the snow squall that had blown in with blizzard-like force the night before, the winds whipping across the road so fiercely that it was making our commute back home almost impossible. But with the morning came warmer temperatures, calm air and blue skies. I ventured out with my camera to capture the scene that had been created overnight. I had my quiet time with God along the river, crunching through the snow. I spoke with Him and told Him I was open to whatever He wanted me to know.
Then I began to think about the stillness of the water. It seemed calm on the surface but there was still so much going on underneath. The river still flowed. I couldn’t see it but I could hear the ice cracking as the water below kept moving. I immediately compared this to my relationship with God. So many times, it seems as if He is unnervingly still and quiet. I want to hear from Him and yet it seems as if He is nowhere to be found. It is in those times that I have to remember that He is still working in me and for me. I may not always see it, just as I couldn’t see the water moving but He still working behind the scenes and below the surface to keep His plan for my life in motion. It is in those moments that I must be the one to be still and know that He is God.
“Let be and be still, and know (recognize and understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10
Fireworks over the lake
“The power of the river is to flow wildly. The power of the lake is to think calmly. A wise man both flows like a river and thinks like a lake”.
Last week was not kind to me. I was tested on many levels from the get-go on Monday morning. The middle of the week turned in a different but equally difficult direction. By the week’s end I was exhausted, mentally and physically. But I made it. It was a testimony to my strength and will and my faith in God. Ultimately, dealing with any kind of issue, whether it is anxiety, stress, addiction, forgiveness, sickness, anger, jealousy, etc., simply can’t be done without the grace of God. Of course, that is my opinion. Others may disagree but I have seen it at work and I can testify to it.
After a rough week, I spent most of my Saturday near or on the lake. I can’t think of a better way to unwind. For me, there has always been a draw toward the water. I live near the river and I love being on the lake. Of course, I love the ocean as well, but I don’t get to spend as much time there as I would like. A few years ago, I spent a lot of alone time at the lake. I was going through a difficult time. Relationships just weren’t turning out as I had hoped. Most likely because I wasn’t living my life as God intended. I would go sit by the water and just try to relax, watching the boats go by. I had no way of knowing that my time at the lake, mending more than one broken heart, would lead me to the amazing person I am with now. I think that was God’s plan all along. Despite my disobedience to Him, He took me there to heal and those trips eventually led me to the person he meant for me to be with. Someone who enjoys the lake as much as I do and so much more. I can spend my time now on the water, not just sitting on the “sidelines” and enjoy the breeze and the sunshine. Thinking calmly or just not thinking at all.
Never doubt where God is taking you. I would have never imagined a couple of years ago that a body of water would be God’s way of showing me hope and a new direction. After the rough months I suffered through during the winter, those days on the lake continue to heal me. Just in a different way now. It’s an opportunity to put stress and worry aside and just be a part of something beautiful, to “think as a lake”. To “be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him” (Psalm 37:7)