Psalm 23 (NIV)
A psalm of David.
“1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
I have found myself pondering these verses for the last few weeks. Particularly the word image of being lead beside quiet water. I live near the Great Lakes and it is a rare thing to see the lakes “quiet.” They seem to be always in a state of hustle and bustle. Whether there are whitecaps on the waves, ships, boats, jet skis, etc..they are in constant motion. Even on a sailboat in the middle of Lake Michigan, the chop of small waves indicates action. Of course, there are still areas that do appear. A small thin section of water that can stretch hundreds of feet like glass seemly undisturbed by anything the outside world could throw at it. Honestly it is mesmerizing to see the sun dance on the surface. Beautiful and peaceful ; serenity at its best. I have often thought I could reach out my hand and smooth it more with a slow and steady motion & the water would not waiver or ripple. It just is.
However, growing up with the Lakes like I did we learned as children that the still part was to be feared & most certainly not to be entered. I didn’t understand. As a child I thought it was because the grown ups didn’t want the glass water to break or some other nonsensical reasoning adults have when they don’t want you to have fun. Although any good 4th grader in a state with five giant lakes can tell you, the quiet water on the big lakes is a rip tide. Tides that are so fierce and quick they literally rip you away and into the under-toe. Even advance swimmers have been known to not be able to break its grasp and ultimately lose a deadly battle with the lake as a result of the tide’s siren song.
As I pondered the Psalm, and the image of Lake Michigan firmly in my mind, I realized my life is just like the Lake. Ships passing in and out, children like jet skis on the water zipping here and there (they even whine like kids too). At times beautiful moments like the sunrise or sunset on the water, waves that batter me sometimes big and sometimes small. The occasional boater that stays for a while to drop anchor near the sand bar, friends and family. Sadly even the rip tide is present. Although on the surface it all looked so smooth & unphased, the rip tide of my life has a nasty under-toe.
My husband is a porn addict. It’s insidious nature was just like the rip tide. His addiction was hidden from me for years. However even after it was revealed We really had no idea the impact of the addiction to our marriage, in his relationship with my children and of course him. It took 10 1/2 years of living in this valley to even begin to understand the lengths his addiction would go to pull this family under.
God is bringing us through the toughest valley of our lives. It is a dark & lonely journey. I endeavor to find true quiet water in Him. He is my resting place, my green pasture. This is my story. One wave, one seemingly peaceful momen at a time.