Not far from my house is a path with a little stream flowing right beside it. Trees grow all along this short path, and in early fall it’s a glorious scene of vibrant colors reflecting on the water.

I love this path. It’s not too peopley, which makes it peaceful. And while it’s smack in the middle of suburbia, the trees block the houses fairly well, and the stream makes enough bubbly noises that you feel you’ve snuck away to a secluded spot.

Sometimes I take my puppy on a walk on this path. And every time we stroll beside the little stream, Psalm 23 pops into my head:

He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.
Psalm 23:2-3

The Hebrew here actually means “beside waters of rest” or “a place of rest.”

As I walk beside the stream and quote the verse, my soul sighs with contentment. I sense literal and figurative “waters of rest.” My mind quiets. And I’m reminded God is our Restorer.

On this path there’s no urgency, no one clamoring for my help. Time stops demanding things from me and invites me to a meandering walk and a heartfelt talk with Jesus.

Do you have a special place like this?
A place that when you arrive you know God will give your soul refreshment and rest?

The slow down we probably need

Jesus knows our souls need slow-down moments. We were not created to “Go! Go! Go!” nonstop, no matter how loudly society applauds busyness and productivity.

As the holiday season rushes toward us with family time, decorating, gift giving, cooking, wrapping, cleaning, and the party/concert/outing whirlwind, let’s not forget the “still water” places. Let’s ask the God of all grace to provide small moments where He can lead us “beside waters of rest” and whisper Take all the time you need.

For it’s in these precious, quieter moments that God can refresh our hearts with His grace and teach us how to approach life's quicker moments with a calm and steady heart.

Prayer for today

Dear Poppa, You know best what my heart needs. I'm so thankful for the unassuming places/ways You have restored my soul before. Help me to trust You still in the coming days. You know my schedule and energy level. When You slip a "quiet waters" moment into my day, let me enjoy it fully as You restore my heart and soul with Your grace. Amen.


Journal & Reflection questions:

  1. Where have I let my heart become convinced that busyness, productivity, and hurry are most important?
  2. In which special, unassuming place has God given me sweet rest before?
  3. What's one small way I can be open to God leading me "beside still waters" this week?



A much-needed thought for this busy time of year.

Janna Wright

So true! Praying for special moments of soul rest for each of us this season.