Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Refreshed (part 2): Quiet waters

I love water.  I love to look at it.  I love to paddle on it and swim in it.  And I love to drink it. Which is a good life depends on it.

On our retreat we learned the reason for the distinction of quiet waters.  For there are treacherous waters nearby to be avoided.  The sheep don't know the difference.  They  only know they are thirsty.  They will drink from the wildest of waters. But the Shepherd knows.

Have I mentioned lately that it's been winter here?  Yes, it has.  How is it that all these trees can look so completely dead for so many months, and then in only a week's time spring back to life in all its glory?  They have literally been storing up life, in order to be restored.

I can get so down on myself when my soul feels barren. But I have discovered that barrenness can be a clean slate. There is so much of God that I do not see.  The best way to get a better look at something big is to take a step back. I do not like the feeling of that space between myself and my God.  I do not like the fact that the appearance of the new facets of him that I had not seen before make him somehow unfamiliar.

But when the unfamiliar settles in, I love the new perspective, and the sense that I have grown. I love my Savior with more of my mind...and my heart, soul and strength follow.

Barrenness can be purposeful,  the restored soul stronger and more beautiful than before.


Givinya De Elba said...

So true. Good stuff, Tracy.

Joy said...

The setting that your retreat was in is so beautiful. What a perfect place to reflect on Psalm 23. Your photography is amazing. Great pictures.
Aren't you glad it is HE that makes us lie down and restores our soul and leads us by quiet waters. He wants to be the one and only and sadly we look to others to do that for us so much of the time.
Thanks for sharing your weekend retreat with us. I know you were blessed and came home refreshed.


Betty said...

I love your pictures that accompanied this post. Are they from around your place?
Water is something of wonder for me too! Especially since we are from such a dry area.
Great post! Loved it!

Tracy P. said...

Thanks for the photo comments, ladies. Yes, these photos are from the retreat center. I took a few of the women out during free time to see if we could capture the images of the psalm, and it was not a problem! There is a small pond or reflecting pool that is right in front of the lake. If the trees had been fully leafed out, the lake would hardly be visible. You will see more of what I mean if you stop back in a day or two--not the leaves, but the water against water. Very beautiful!

SKELLER said...

gorgeous pictures to complement beautiful wisdom.

Eyeglasses & Endzones said...

Wow! Those pictures are gorgeous and so is your spirit! I can tell that you are REFRESHED and that is an amazing feeling isn't it? I just love the picture of the path with the rocks on the sides...amazing!

Marrdy said...

Om my goodness. Such wonderful words and such gorgeous pictures! Thank you for sharing.

stefanie said...

Ah, gorgeous.

I love the idea of going out to capture what you are learning, a visible manifestation...fantastic!