On a quiet day when there is no wind, a hush often settles over the lake. The quietness then creeps up the shoreline and inside my heart to remind me of something: yielded stillness is my preferred position before God. There are plenty of days when white caps advance energetically across the water, marching like ranks of soldiers on their way to victory. And there are other days when a gentle breeze stirs the surface so that it bobbles playfully. But on a calm day the sleek silver surface just sits quietly, patiently waiting, receptive and ready.
Today the lake’s patience is being rewarded.
The rain started about an hour ago, and continues to fall so quietly that I would not have known except for the pelting dimples piercing the water’s surface. The gentle raindrops will not only feed the lake, adding to its volume, but will cleanse it as well. I mention cleansing not because the lake is dirty, but because it welcomes untainted, pure refreshment from some higher source. I also know what this kind of heavenly refreshment can mean when a season of drought – physical, emotional, and/or spiritual - depletes me. The only hopeful response is obedient expectancy, much like that mirrored by the lake today.
I often identify with the lake. In so doing, my various moods seem to match its own: relaxed, angry, welcoming, rebellious, pensive. I, too, spread out to touch distant shores. I, too, shrink from lightening bolts, harbor and support life, and groan and snap in the midst of freezing and thawing.
But today, I seem to identify with the lake’s tranquility and openness. The sky and water mirror a solid gray palette. Nothing stirs except the slightest breath of air tossing the oak leaves above, and silvery pocks of rainwater dotting the lakes’ surface with bouncing pellets. “Be quiet”, they whisper, “dipple-dopple, hush-hush, dipple-dopple, hush-hush,” until their sing-song quiets my heart. I am not pressed from without or within, but enjoy a mixture of relaxation and expectancy: contentment laced with anticipation.
There will be a time, very soon, when such peacefulness will seem elusive; when I will not be sitting lakeside, when there will not be time for reflection. Such is the rhythm of my life. However, I have learned that God often chooses to prepare me for growth with a time spent apart in solitude. When challenges come, I will return to this snapshot in my memory and draw comfort and strength. For right now, in this moment, God’s restoring hand touches my soul with His own grace and peace.
“…love the Lord your God - then I will send rain on your land…” (from Deuteronomy 11:13-14)