“He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.”  Psalm 23:2

It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon in Eastern NC as I headed out for a visit to Goose Creek State Park. The afternoon couldn’t have been any better as I set out to do a complete round on the wooded walking trails. My heart was full of anticipation. I was asking Him for an encounter….“Father, I’m asking you to restore my soul on this walk.”

Just that morning I had heard one of my favorite Christian speakers talking about how we needed to let go of all pretenses and just be real with the Father. That’s exactly what He desires from us. Life has a way of beating us up at times, and it’s absolutely okay to get real with Him. And, as I headed down the trail, that’s exactly what I was doing while repeating over and over, “Father, restore my soul.”

A couple of miles down the trail, I headed to the left down a path I had never been before. The sign, for which I had never noticed, said “Mallard Creek.” To my surprise, what I thought was just a detour that would lead me back to the main trial was a dead end. I thought, “Man, I’m going to have to back track that quarter mile just to get back to where I was going,” but that still, small voice said, “Check it out.” I was so glad I did. Mallard Creek was beautiful. The water was as slick as glass as I stood at the end of the pier just taking it all in.

Back on the main trail, and within the home stretch of a 6-mile hike, it hit me. I had been hearing a piece of a verse in my head during the whole walk, but in a moment the Father brought it all together for me. It was Psalm 23:2-3, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” 

I started out that hike asking Him for an “encounter” and for Him to “restore my soul,” and He showed me how He “leads me beside still waters.” The Mallard Creek path was no diversion, but an object lesson.

Today you can know that your Heavenly Father is constantly trying to lead us to green pastures and still waters because as the good, good Father, He loves us and wants to restore our soul.

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