"He leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul" (Psalm 23:2b). This jewel of a psalm has calmed countless hearts. It is beside the still waters where the Holy Spirit meets His saints, not in the winds and waters of strife. He cannot lead us to the placid waters if we are rushing ahead of Him. We must take the time to be led to the peaceful morning hours with Him. This is when He prepares our hearts for the struggles of the day. This is where the success is won before the campaign is engaged: in prayer, seeking our guidance for the day. Then let us rest awhile by the still waters of His gentleness and affection, His joy and peace.
This humorous story whittles us to our befitting size: A young woodpecker felt quite energetic one morning, and he decided to start the day by pecking at a giant oak tree. He pecked away and was making a minuscule dent when a flash of lightening split the tree from top to bottom. The bird rushed out from under the wreckage, looked up at what the lightening left of the tree, and whispered in awe, "Gracious! I didn't even know my own strength!" It might help to get away from the trees and see the forest to get a better perspective on what God has done for us--and what we can?™t do for ourselves!
We have heard many times that overdone expression, "It's a great life if you don't weaken." Words that come to mind are endurance and steadfastness and unwavering. "...We consider blessed those who have persevered" (James 5:11a). The outstanding example of fortitude is Job, even though he understandably went through a period of peevishness. Actually Job was not so patient as he was persevering. He was afflicted with a variety of intense griefs and yet could still bless God and go on. The most effective way to endure the ills that beset all is to look to the end of them, for "This, too, shall pass." At the time it may not seem so, but God is going to wipe away all tears (Revelation 21:4).