Tenth Day: "Beside the still waters."
It is at least suggestive that in the contemplation of the whole of this second verse of this psalm we have in outline the possible experience of every child of God for every day; first the green pastures, then His undisputed leadership, then the still waters. Every day must begin with feeding, go on in active service, and end with quiet contemplation of His mercy and His goodness. So, because it is often more difficult to use a victory than to gain one, this suggestion is made for the day.
It is said that sheep will never drink of the turbulent stream, but only at the still waters. How true it is that there must be still hours in our lives if we would grow and be girded with strength! The day which began with feeding must end in quiet thoughtfulness if we would keep in fellowship with the Lord, and absorb His beauty of holiness.
What are these "still waters" but the influence and graces of the Spirit of God? His Spirit attends us in various ways like "waters"—in the plural number, you will notice—to cleanse, to refresh, and to strengthen. But He cannot be appreciated or appropriated in His transforming power until we have learned the lesson of waiting before Him in perfect quietness. I have found six positions for the child of God,—
In His hand for safety.—John 10:28.
At His feet to be taught.—Luke 8:35.
On His shoulder for support.—Luke 15:5.
At His side for fellowship.—John 21:20.
In His arms for rest.—Deut. 33:27.
Beside the still waters for refreshment.—Ps. 23:2
"That silence is golden indeed in which the Holy Spirit meets with the souls of His saints. Not to raging waves of strife, but to peaceful streams of holy love, does the Spirit of God conduct the chosen sheep. He is a dove, not an eagle; the dew, not the hurricane. And our Lord leads us to these still waters; we could not go of ourselves."
Suggestions for To-day.
1. Yield absolutely for this whole day to His leadership;
make no reservation.
2. Commit to memory Ps.119:11, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." I Cor. 10:13.
3. When tempted, claim the victory, because of the Lord's promise. When irritable, claim His peace and rest.
4. When the day is over, confess to Him your mistakes, thank Him for your triumph over weakness and sin.
5. Before you close your eyes in sleep talk to Him as to an earthly friend; tell Him your joys, your sorrows, your disappointments, and the failures you have made.
"I tell Him all my sorrows,
I tell Him all my joys,
I tell Him all that pleases me,
I tell Him what annoys;
He tells me what I ought to do,
He tells me what to try;
And so we talk together,
My Lord and I."
From The Secret of a Happy Day: Quiet Hour Meditations by J. Wilbur Chapman. Boston: United Society of Christian Endeavor, ©1899.