We stood beside Sauble Falls one September, watching with fascination as the salmon bashed their bodies onto the stone ledges only to be hurled back down into the torrent of the river. Time and again they tried while anglers and kingfishers waited with utmost patience for their failure. Every year they make this trip upstream, battling extreme conditions with limited guarantee of success. For what? To lay their eggs so another generation of salmon can repeat this insane tradition another year? Why would God insist on such sacrificial efforts when it would be so much easier to just provide some “still waters” for the salmon’s ascent?
The simple answer is: I don’t know. I wasn’t there when God breathed creation into existence and fashioned creatures with their unique abilities to survive. The psalmist doesn’t say all the waters will be quiet, only that my shepherd will lead me beside some still waters and will use his rod and staff to protect and comfort me when things get a little rocky along the way. There will be those waiting for me to fail, but the Lord who prepares the table also gives me the strength to carry on in the midst of troubled water and I find I have no reason to fear.
Lord, I don't always understand the trouble. Stay with me. Amen. — HS