Beside Still Waters

Beside Still Waters

By: Susan Schiller

Into the wilderness David hides, joined by the misfits, rebels, and rejects of society. The solitude of the wilderness – it's where David learned to sing, dance, and pray. It's where the shepherd boy learned the disciplines to be a man after God's own heart, and God's choice for king of His people.

"He leads me beside still waters." I hear the echo of David's whispered prayer, as he hides in a desert cave, chased by a sociopath he once loved as a father-in-law, his best friend's dad, the first king of Israel. It seems I feel his breath as he sighs, the sweat dripping into his eyes.

The pages of Time flip backward, stopping in Bethlehem, David's hometown. Inwardly I gasp as I see David as a teenage shepherd boy facing a mountain lion. With a fiery boldness, he slings a smooth stone into the center of the beast's head. He charges up the hill to pull a lamb out of the mouth of the dead lion and tenderly he lifts the lamb onto his shoulders, and brings it back to safe pasture.

He walks a solitary path; a lonely and humble path. It's a job not many would volunteer to do. While his brothers fight on the front lines of battle, earning victories and rewards for their courage and bravery, David is alone. He is a hero to only the lowliest of creatures.

By the warmth of an evening campfire, I hear him singing, accompanied by a stringed instrument: "I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth…."

Oh God, cause me to sing, to dance, and to pray like David!

The mountains in my region are merely foothills, but even so, my soul magnifies the Lord as I gaze up into their immensity. I am small and made of dust – the same dust as mountains, stars, rocks, trees, and flowers.

This dust is fragile. The wind can blow it away or it can form majestic rock formations like the Medicine Rocks in Ekalaka, Montana. Like blowing sand, my outer form is already fading and will soon pass; yet my inner being is rising up, growing bolder and braver, stretching to reach past the confines of this earthen vessel. I want to live life fully!

So I lean into the wind and I drink the living water. There are streams in the desert that nourish my spirit and winds that change me from the inside out, just as I see the evidence of wind changing rocks in the wilderness.

I see David, now an adult, squint his eyes to see if there might be relief in sight. Weary and thirsty, he bares his heart to his inner circle – the three men who have guarded him with their lives. I hear his broken voice cracking in disbelief, "They plan to topple me from my high position. They delight in telling lies about me. They praise me to my face but curse me in their hearts…."

I taste salty tears as they course down my own cheeks, for I know this pain of hiding in the wilderness, waiting in silence while people I love spread vicious lies about me. I see their fierce eyes as the three mighty men glance back and forth amongst each other. I sense they are planning to rise up and defend their leader, for he refuses to kill the sociopathic thug his people call "king".

Prostrate on the cool, sandy floor David groans, "From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a refuge for me, A tower of strength against the enemy." Psalm 61

Then all becomes still. With a soft groan, David rises up from the ground and spreads his hands to the heavens, "Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him." Psalm 62

There will be no fighting today so the three friends move to the cave's entrance, giving David some personal space. Gazing up at the stars, the three mighty men, who once were misfits and rejects, get down on their knees as they listen to David continuing to pray. A heart so bare, so vulnerable, and full of pure love and hope cannot compete with the brilliant stars shining in their faces. Bowing their heads, they drink in the solitude as if it were a stream in the desert.

So we sing, we dance, and we pray in the wilderness. And sometimes God surprises us with joy unspeakable and full of glory!

Like David, I say to my soul, "Be Still, my soul!" In the stillness is where God speaks and moves. In the stillness is is where the help and provision come.

I lack nothing. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He guides me in the ways that please my Maker. He shelters me from the loud voices of doom and gloom. She whispers words of love to me, that fill the deep hole in my heart that has so long felt unloved, rejected, and like a misfit.

I hear, "You belong here. You are Mine. I am yours. My banner over you is Love."

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With all my love,


Susan Schiller knows how it feels to lose everything: marriage and family, church and reputation, finances and businesses, and more. Susan's upcoming, interactive memoir, "On the Way Home," tells the story of how she came to be known as "the most abused woman" her counselors had yet met and how she learned to navigate to freedom and fullness.  
Today Susan helps people write their life stories, unearthing the treasures of their past and sowing them into their future, creating new family legacies.

Copyright © 2010 to 2015 Team Family Online, All rights reserved.   For reprint permission or for any private or commercial use, in any form of media, please contact Susan Schiller

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Joyce August 31, 2014 at 7:50 am

How beautiful!  I am amazed at how the Lord works.  Thank you for sharing this with me, Susan.  I confirms what I hear in my spirit and I agree with you — we are indeed David's rag-tag army.  Bless you, my friend.


Susan Schiller August 31, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Indeed, Joyce, it's a privilege to be out in the lonely wilderness, even hiding in caves… we are being deployed, you know!


Beth November 4, 2013 at 12:50 pm


I'm so sorry it took me almost a week to come by. I think God knew I needed to wait until today to read your beautiful words.  "In the stillness is where God speaks and moves. In the stillness is is where the help and provision come." I needed this reminder to be still before Him and allow Him to fill me as only He can.

Thank you again for being a part of the Three Word Wednesday community.

Much love to you,



Susan Schiller November 4, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Hi Beth… sometimes it’s hard to be still and wait… I hope you are finding the answers you need for today and this week. I wish you shalom, peace… the all is well kind of peace!


Lauren Jensen October 30, 2013 at 6:43 am

You paint so many beautiful word pictures, Susan! I especially loved the visual of the wind blowing the outer self away while the inner self rises up! And David surely went through a whole lot of turmoil- may our joy flow like his! God bless your day!


Susan Schiller October 30, 2013 at 7:12 am

Thanks for coming by, Lauren – and yes, may our joy flow like David’s! God bless you! 🙂


Amar Naik October 28, 2013 at 9:03 pm

nicely expressed with accompanies pics. great post and ejoyed it.


Susan Schiller October 28, 2013 at 9:07 pm

How nice to see you again, Amar – thank you for visiting and sharing 🙂


Joanne October 28, 2013 at 1:38 pm

When I take the time to be still, I am always able to feel God.  Thank you for this beautiful and insightful blog post today.


Susan Schiller October 28, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Hi Joanne,

I’m happy for you – what a great way to feel God’s presence 🙂


Barbara October 28, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Beautiful and insightful. You have been gifted with a wonderful way to espress yourself. The pictures are lovely, too.

May the LORD astound you with answered prayer  today.


Susan Schiller October 28, 2013 at 1:34 pm

What a beautiful blessing and life-giving words, Barbara – thank you – and my God splash back on you a double blessing with answered prayers, as well! 🙂


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