One by one we walked to the river’s edge. The water flowed beneath us, far below the bank on which we stood. There was silence except for an occasional melody of praise coming from a feathered friend. We each held a rock — a rock bearing a burden of our heart, a rock to be thrown into the river of God’s compassionate mercy.
In silence we sought the Father. Could we truly surrender the hurt, the anger, the fear, or betrayal afflicted on us by a fallen world? Could we give it fully to Him? Clutter of the heart interrupts the flow of the still waters within. Burdens become boulders and boulders block the channel where the Living Water flows.
From behind us, playing on a CD player, came the song lyrics:
“In these waters, healing mercies flow with freedom from despair. I am going to that river. Lord, I need to meet You there.
“Precious Jesus, I am ready to surrender every care. Take my hand now, lead me closer. Lord, I need to meet You there.”*
Tears began to flow like the river below. Hands raised in sweet surrender, hearts yielding to the gentle whispers of the Holy Spirit bidding us to come. One by one rocks were released. I watched as mine hit the water. It broke the surface and then the water came up and over to symbolically consume the burden of my heart.
One by one I heard a kaplunk as burdens were released and hearts began their healing journeys. Sunlight streamed from above, breaking through the shadows of the surrounding trees. I sensed the Lord’s Presence, His grace, His love — His acceptance of our offerings.
Isaiah 28:12 reads, “This is the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest. This is the refreshing.”
In preparing for the prayer retreat, I studied to understand this passage from Isaiah. In the original Hebrew the word for ‘rest’ in this verse is menuchah which means resting place, place of stillness, peace, a quiet place. A cross reference took me to Psalm 23:2, “He leads me beside the quiet waters — the waters of menuchah, the waters of quietness.”
Think about this: quiet waters are not restless. They are still. Calm. We can see reflections in them.
When we yield to the Father and allow Him to lead us beside the waters of menuchah, we learn to be still, to cease striving, and remember that He is God. We can see His reflection in our waters of quietness.
Each of the ladies attending the prayer retreat took hands forming a circle of sisterhood, of love — of release. We each had been touched by the grace of God as we surrendered our burdens. We prayed together. Hugged. Cried. And laughed at the goodness of the Lord.
At the river’s edge, we quenched our thirst for the Living God.
Is the Lord calling you to come? Are there burdens cluttering your heart and blocking the flow of the Living Water? He is waiting for you to come … come to the Father’s love and cast your cares on Him.
Thank you, thank you for praying for me this past weekend during the prayer retreat. I heard from many of you who said you had been praying the Lord would give me stamina and clarity of mind as I forged through this fibromyalgia flare to speak to and minister to the ladies in attendance. God sustained me with His grace and blessed us tremendously with His Presence. God is good, amen?