Still Waters

Key Text:  Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside quiet waters,

He refreshes my soul.  He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;

Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.


As we work our way through the Scriptures, looking at both unfamiliar and familiar passages, I find it sometimes helpful to return to certain passages that are more than just “familiar”.

Some words of Scripture resonate so deeply in my heart, soul, and mind – are so rich and full – that it is good to just read them again and draw them in like a breath of refreshing air.

Psalm 23 is one of those passages.

In a world filled with need, it holds the promise of lacking nothing.

In a world where there is so much anxious rushing about, it holds the promise of restful pastures and still waters.

In a world of danger, it holds the promise of the protection of the Lord.

In a world of evil, it holds the promise of goodness and love following us all the days of our lives.

Most of all, in the face of death, it holds the promise of eternal life.

No wonder it is beloved, recited in so many different languages, prayed in so many different parts of the world and treasured in so many different cultures.  It is timeless, borderless and boundless in what it offers.

Claim it as your own prayer once again tonight – the Song of David the shepherd.

And rest easy.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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