“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul” (Psalm 23:1-3).

This past week, Sandy and I got out of the snow for a few days and traveled to Tomales Bay for some much-needed R&R. We had five days to spend together with no agenda, so we spent much of our time wandering the rolling coastal hills of that part of California.  We reveled in the hundreds of shades of green that cloak the hills at this time of the year. We gazed on the calm waters of the bay and stood in awe before the roaring and crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean at the Reyes Point Lighthouse.

My favorite color is green and when I am surrounded by it as I was this past week, I feel a restoration process taking place in the core of my being. It was as if my green tank was empty and with each passing day it rose and rose to overflowing. This might sound like a lot of nonsense to some of you but the green, the water, and the wind, were a healing balm to my spirit, soul, and body.

I returned to my snow-covered mountain home with a renewed understanding of the words, “He restores my soul.” And what I find most interesting is that green pastures and quiet waters are tools that He uses in the restoration of my soul.

In Psalm 46:10, we read, “Be still and know that I am God.” In Psalm 131:2, the Psalmist said, “I have composed and quieted my soul, like a child resting against his mother.”

Walking in stillness and quieting one’s soul is a tall order for those living in an age that is filled with noise and distractions. And yet, throughout the Word of God, we are invited into the secret and quiet places with God, places where the distractions and hindrances of the world temporarily fall away, and we are restored in His presence.

This, my friend, takes a deliberate and sometimes ruthless effort to break away from the noise and come to the quiet. No one else can make this choice for you. God’s arms are extended in your direction, He is inviting you to come to the quiet and be restored, but all too often we are like Israel of old, of whom God said, “In quietness and trust is your strength. But you were not willing” (Isaiah 30:15).

Genesis 24:63 says, “Isaac went out to meditate in the field toward evening.” Notice where? Surrounded by God’s creation, the grass, the trees, the hills, and even the wind that carries with it the very voice of God, saying, “Be still and be restored.”