I Went Down by the River to Pray

Wednesday, August 15, 2012 Posted by Katie

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When I think of my life according to the Psalms, I find myself reflecting on the many encounters I have had with God along the shores of some beautiful body of water.

In my single years, I once took a weekend trip to Lake Superior to escape my new and overwhelming home of Chicago. I needed to get out of the metropolis and back to nature. I brought my dog. We walked along the shore of the biggest lake I had ever seen and had a rejuvenating chat with God.

I finally found my Chicagoland groove when I settled in Evanston…where I was able to run or walk along Lake Michigan any old day I chose. God and I had a lot to talk about on that trail.

In the shadowy days following the time I lost my job years ago, I sat with my sister and some close friends at the convergence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers in Cairo, Illinois. My sister had given me a book to read: “Always Enough” by Heidi Baker.

Within weeks of reading Heidi’s words of God’s provision, I sat next to a stunning ice-blue lake in Glacier National Park in Montana. I had been hired by Youthworks in what would be one of the most life-changing jobs I had ever had the privilege to hold. I had a little chat with God about gratitude right there on the shore.
Years later, my husband Phillip and I walked along the shores of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Twenty-four hours before-hand, we had discovered that I was pregnant with our first child. We walked, wondering together with God how our lives would unfold. A couple of years after that, my son took some of his first steps on that same stretch of beach.

Powerful awe-inspiring moments.

If you have been reading my posts of late, you’ll know that my life runs at break-neck speed. I haven’t had lovely walks by rivers, lakes or oceans lately. I’ve been catching God on the fly. I sure miss our long leisurely chats.

God did too apparently. A few weeks ago, I found myself alone on the last night of a business trip to San Francisco. Through a crazy set of circumstances, one of our clients “knew a guy” who arranged for me to spend my last night  in town aboard a three-hour, four-course dinner cruise around the bay, compliments of the owner. Live music. Candles. Great food. Pen and journal in hand. Jesus and I watched the sun set behind the Golden Gate Bridge. It restored my soul.

I often wonder if David walked along shorelines chatting it up with the Almighty. He sure seemed to know a thing or two about intimacy with God when he wrote truth like…

“…he leads me beside still waters. He refreshes my soul.” – Psalm 23

“…he will be like a tree planted by streams of water, that brings forth its fruit in season, whose leaf does not wither.” – Psalm 1

May God bless your life with the ageless truth that rest and restoration are yours when you walk along the shoreline of the Living Water. Amen.

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