Beside Still Waters

By: Blake Hudspeth
There is a bench with an iron back and wooden slats. The arms curve downward like a ram’s horn. It sits at the edge of deep water that’s fed by a spring beneath the earth. The pool is aquamarine in the center, like a dallop of the Caribbean was scooped out and placed there. A constant breeze moves over the top of the water towards the bench at all times. It picks up the chill of the pool before it hits you so that the sun and the wind swirl in harmony. The grass beneath the bench is perfect. I don’t know a better word for it. Not pristine or fussy. Not itchy or unkempt. Perfect.

I’ve never physically been to it. There are no coordinates to plug into your phone. Yet I’ve sat on the bench with the Lord too many times to doubt its existence. It’s real. I promise.

I’m looking at it right now even as you read this sentence. I brought you here with me so you could see it too. This is where the Lord, our Shepherd, is leading us. This place is where He quiets our hearts and restores our souls. Where He sits with us. Speaks to us. Where we feast among adversaries and are shown the paths of righteousness.

I wanted to show you in case it’s dark where you are. In case you are in the valley where death is so near that you can smell its breath. Even there, if you stop long enough, you will feel His hand holding onto you. He is guiding you through that terrible place towards the bench and the water and the breeze. Mercy and goodness have not left you. They follow closely at your heels. Every inch of the path under your feet is paved with steadfast love and faithfulness.

So, do not be afraid to follow Him. He will protect you in the darkness. He is guiding you to the bench beside still waters. Go sit with Him and listen.
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