Rest Beside the Still Waters

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures ; He leadeth
me beside the still waters ; He restoreth my soul .” .
Ps. xxiii. 2 , 3.

~ a synopsis and modern translation of George Matheson’s writing


Would it be an easy thing for a person to confess the Lord to be their Shepherd when brought to green pastures beside still waters? Who would not rejoice in the peace and contentment, surrounded by such a peaceful surrounding? In truth, one must sound the depths of one’s soul because no one can lie down in peace until one has received a restored soul.

It is as equally difficult for an unrestored soul to lie down in green pastures as to wallow in barren wastelands. Do you think that an unrestful heart will have more rest in prosperity than in adversity? No, an unrestul heart will carry itself into everything. Prosperity is not found in the greenness of the pastures — adversity lies not in the barrenness of the wastelands; they both lie within.

The joyous heart will make all things joyful, its pastures will always be green, its waters will all be quiet. The restless heart will make all things unrestful: the calmness of the outward scene will be its source of pain.

We cannot fly from ourselves by changing our circumstances: we can only change our own circumstances by fleeing from ourselves. The sweetness and bitterness of life are alike within us, and we shall receive from the world just what we bring to it.

Oh my soul, if you would have green pastures, if you desire quiet waters, if you should seek for a place where you can lie down and rest, then you must first be restored. You must set aside your own self before you can find a scenery of repose.

Then when you are at rest, all things can be yours — the world, life, death, angels, principalities, powers — you can claim them as your servants. You can extract joy out of sorrow, sleep in the ship of life when the storm is raging around you. You shall spread your table in the presence of your enemies.

Goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life when your soul shall have been restored.

*** Reference: George Matheson, “The Secret of Peace”, Moments on the Mount, London: James Nisbet & Co.1884, pp. 67-69

*** Photography by Alfred Derks at Pixabay

My Love I Love


my love I love

because you love me,
in your arms
content in winter
while hearths aglow
with applewood
flames —

my love I love

because I hold you
in my arms
asleep as I
hush
boisterous winds,
that trouble
your wounded
heart —

my love I love

D. G. Vachal © 2023

Photography by Mabel Amber

“Silence When I Need You Most”

by gnuckx Flickr

Silence
when I need you most
while drenched petals fall
under feeble moonlight
from rose-shrubs uprooted,
tumbleweeds blown
by the howling wind —

Would I need the finger-
touch of nail-prints, my hand
upon your side to know

You are here
somewhere in this garden
as I tread upon the flooded grass,
pellet drumbeats
drown
the silence that taunts
when I need you most.

by D. G. Vachal © 2016

Photography credit: by gnuckx @ Flickr Commons

“Summer Interlude”

Perseids Meteor Shower by JP Danko pic 2

Ivy and honeysuckle climb
forbidden picket fences,
alabaster butterflies alight
upon the foxgloves,
lavender fields are fragrant
in the silver glow
of summer twilight —

I watch the seasons dance
upon your face,
feel the temperate breezes
heal
our winter-charred arms —

youth returns
if only for a fleeting moment
when amethyst and beryl,
topaz and peridot
explode
against the sapphire sky
of your smiling eyes —

I catch
diamonds and meteors
into the willow basket
of my daily bread.

D. G. Vachal © 2016

 

*** Photography Credit: Perseids Meteor by J.P. Danko

“After Winter”

Crocus Playtime - Lord V@flickr
Melted snow and now
relentless the waterfalls
flood-level ponds
drown the fragrance
of lotus white flowers —

February, you were cruel
savage winds battered homesteads
of burning hearths,
defiant
I treasure the fire
of remembered
warm seasons —

Weeping through March
nighttimes,
dew-tears moisten earth’s
winter-hard soil, awaken
emerald and amethyst
in blades of grass
and crocus petals —

April hours come
with dove-feather showers,
lenient winds,
promise the arrival of warmer
seasons once again.

by D. G. Vachal © 2016

*** Photography by LordV@Flickr