“He leads me beside quiet waters” (Psalm 23:2)
The Good Shepherd does not lead you into danger. He leads you to where you can find peace and rest. If green pastures represent God’s provision for us, the “quiet waters” represent His peace that calms our soul. David is not just talking about giving the sheep a drink of water. He is talking about leading the sheep to where they can experience security and serenity. A rushing river can provide water to drink but not without potential peril. For starters, sheep can become easily agitated. The sight and sound of the moving water can raise the anxiety in the sheep and they can become fearful. The Good Shepherd is also concerned about the safety of His sheep. If a sheep were to slip into the current it could quickly be swept away. Therefore, He leads you to “quiet” or “still” water.
For us in our metropolitan area this is the difference between walking on the shoulder of a busy highway with the cars zooming by or…walking on a trail through a quiet park. It changes how you feel. It changes how you think. Just talking about it begins to relax you. We say things like, “Yes, this is what I need. Just five minutes peace”. We close the door and take a deep breath. We close our eyes and, like Brer Rabbit, we go to our “happy place”.
At the cross Jesus not only proved that He was the Good Shepherd. He won the victory that can bring you peace. To follow Him is to lay down in green pastures even in a dry and weary land. When we follow Him He leads us by quiet waters in the midst of a noisy, and sometimes dangerous, world. He is the Good Shepherd. That’s what He has always done. He was always calming the raging seas and He can still do that today…in your life. He is the Prince of Peace! When the disciples were huddled in fear in an upper room next to the raging waters of the death of their Messiah, Jesus showed up and said, “Peace be with you.” (Luke 24:36). Jesus is the source of peace. It is His presence that brings peace, but it is only when we recognize this that we can experience that peace personally. Isaiah said:
“But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5)
Today let Jesus lead you to the quiet waters. Read the Psalm again.