Wellsprings at the Wayside

October 23, 2009 | 30 comments

Be still, my soul
the Lord is on thy side
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain
Leave to thy God to order and provide
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul …
Katharina von Schlegel, 1752

In the 60 mile-per-hour rush, a Refuge beckons.

Two days a week, I drive along this highway, headed home from the campus where I teach. Always, the Refuge within this steepled refuge whispers: “Come to Me, you who are weary.”

I don’t always stop. But today, I put on the brakes. Why the rush?

Be still my soul
The Lord is on thy side

I veer off-course for a rest in a wee chapel — a six-person House of God surrounded by unharvested, soggy cornfields. Rain has returned, paralyzing the harvest again. We bear patiently.

Leave to thy God
to order and provide …

I creak open the door of the Wayside Chapel; someone has left the light on. My God of Refuge whispers Truth again: “Be still.”

In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul …

At the altar, I bow low on my way home. And at His invitation, I drop a burden. In the quiet, I pick up an easy yoke for the journey.


We are all on our way Home, stumbling Heavenward with burdened hearts in need of rest. May we find shelters at the wayside.

We need rest on the way.
We find rest in The Way.
Run to the Refuge this weekend. His yoke is easy; his burden, light.
The Light is always on.

Photos: Wayside Chapel, north of Sioux Center, Iowa.

by | October 23, 2009 | 30 comments


  1. Bina @ Bina's Pad

    Blurry eyed with tears…

    Thank you, once again.

  2. ~*Michelle*~

    What a beautiful message…..

    And I continue to read that passage you posted a photo of:

    "…The Lord of hosts is with us…."

    I will be lifting you and your family up in prayer this weekend…..prayers of peace, comfort and ultimate rest from your burdens.

  3. RCUBEs

    How comforting to be reminded that He has a "rest stop" for weary travelers like me…Thank you for this. God bless you sister and those pictures are amazing…It's not about how small or how big a church is, it is that Light that draws people in…And the Word readily available? Instant thirst quencher!

  4. patty

    One of my all-time favorite hymns…thanks for the reminder.

  5. Jessica

    So beautiful. God is using you in my life.

  6. Tony C

    I wish all churches were open and welcoming like this one…we would better reflect Christ.

    Excellent post!

  7. Lyla Lindquist

    The things we see if we will . . . stop.

    What I keep looking back at here? The photo of the light switch. Leave the light on. Leave the place ready for the next weary traveler who needs a little rest at His feet, in His yoke.

    And you do that here, do you know that? You leave the light on so that when we stop at your little wayside chapel here on this superhighway, we get a little of that rest too.

    Thanks for leaving that light on for me.

  8. isumom

    I love that little church…I have pictures of me as a child visiting it and now I have pictures of my own kids there. Beautiful place…

  9. Laura

    A beautiful story of slowing. We just keep coming back to that, don't we? A soul-cry, I think it is.


  10. Em.

    Hundreds of miles away from you, I'm sitting at a high school debate tournament (for my job is teaching teenagers to think before they speak …). We had a long, long journey here in awful weather, more of a burden after a life changing accident a year ago while this driver toughed it out driving this same team through these same roads in awful weather. Sigh. My neck is tense, my soul is burdened. I'm tired.

    I take a few minutes of down time to check out my Reader for inspiration, a smile, a distraction from the voices and needs and tension of this event, my kids, the weather. Your posts are always a welcome sight, and most especially poignant today, a post about the stillness I so long for.

    Then, at the end, in that last picture, a glimpse of home … not of Iowa, not even of a more metaphorical 'home' created by G-d and Church. No, an actual glimpse of home, 3 lines above your entry, a visitor to that chapel so far away, directly from our home town.

    I spun the laptop around to a debater, 17 years, quiet, studious, and asked with renewed excitement …

    "Does that say Muskegon?!"

    It does. Home. Bliss. Peace. Stillness. A perfect post with a fabulous reminder both of the psalm and of that knowledge that although our trips may be long, our burdens heavy, we're all longing for HOME.


  11. Debbie

    "Be still and know" – YES! That is my word from the Lord via your blog today!! Thank you…

  12. Runner Mom

    How lovely! Be Still…I need that.
    Hugs to you!

  13. KEE

    Beautiful Jennifer. I needd this as we once again travel into the unknown.
    Thank my friend

  14. Graceful

    That was beautiful — all of it. That chapel was just amazing — it took my breath away. Thank you.

  15. optigrl987

    'Please leave the light on…' And when we can be still and be with God, it helps us spread that light. Beautiful pictures and beautiful praise…

  16. sharilyn

    i love that the light is always on… a welcome refuge for any who would wander in.

    i love the Truth– "the Lord is on thy side…"

    my heart resonates to the sound of… "in every change He faithful will remain."

    what peace now fills my soul…

  17. Denise @ A Sacred Longing

    Oh, that as we all make our journey we would keep our eyes and hearts in tune with the wayside chapels He places before us. His call to our spirits to stop and rest. A sit a while moment in His presence.


  18. cindy

    How awesome to be given that opportunity everytime you travel that road.

    I've never seen or heard of a roadside chapel. Is this something common in the midwest?


  19. Shirley

    What a neat place!

  20. Tabitha@ichoosebliss

    Your words ALWAYS settle my soul when it begins to feel restless. Thank You!

  21. Rosslyn Elliott

    Beautiful photos — a close look at familiar things can be inspiring.

  22. Jennifer

    I have prayed again for your harvest. The forecast says rain every day next week down here in Louisiana. Looks like more waiting for our harvest, too. I never thought about this as a time for much needed rest in God because I'm usually looking forward to this period passing. And I miss the rest in the rush. Beautiful words, Jennifer.

  23. Faith Imagined

    Beautiful words that I needed to hear. Thank you.

  24. elaine @ peace for the journey

    Where in the world do you live? Honestly, God surrounds you. Perhaps you notice him more than the rest of us… perhaps we need to look closer to the "wayside" chapels that fill our lives everyday. Perhaps, I need to.

    One of the things I love most about you is, like my friend Laura, you pay attention to life. You notice the sacred details and take the time to absorb them. I think you should hit the road in your neck of the woods and write a book about your waysides… pictures included. I'd certainly come aside to do some devotional reading with you.

    You're awesome! Keep pressing in, sister. God's got something in store for your words.


  25. Monica Sharman

    I'm singing a duet on the 15th and guess what it "happens" to be? Steven Curtis Chapman's "Be Still and Know"…
    I guess to get through a thick skull like mine, God repeats the same thing over and over in different places! Including yours.

  26. KEE

    Thank you once again for letting God use you. I needed this at this precise moment, and while you did not know God did.

    Blessings my dear friend!

  27. Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus

    Hi friends, So glad you stopped by. I've been gone for a long weekend away with friends, and it was a joy to come back here to read your comments. … You: A Collective Wellspring at the Wayside. I whisper "thanks" to each of you …

    Em — I was so struck by the serendipity of your discovery here, re: Muskogen … I had considered whether to publish the photo, because I didn't want to identify the names and/or hometowns of others who would expect some privacy. But I kept the photo, covering details like an address with that pen. So glad I kept the photo. So glad you shared your response …

  28. Carol

    I stopped at that very building once. Rush, rush, to a game, home from a game, homework to do, laundry to do…..we stopped, my daughter and I, and took part in the awesomeness of a tiny little building, standing at the side of the road. I love that the light is always on (even in a budget crunch) and that everyone is welcome AND that no one harms the property. It is another of those "sacred grounds" Thanks for reminding me that I do have the time to sit and be still.

  29. Jacquelyn

    I love that old hymn and have sung it many times to myself when I'm at the end of the rope so to speak…A very lovely post, thank you so much.

  30. Jackie

    Hey Jennifer,
    Elaine at Peace for the Journey directed me to your post……..My post yesterday was on a similar precious chapel near me close to the Grand Canyon. I loved reading your post and how similar the glorious Presence of the Lord rests upon these wonderful little places! As Elaine put is ….."These posts are so timely and comparable, reminding me that great things … God things … are often wrapped in small packages"…

    If you're ever in Arizona this chapel is certainly worth visiting and if I'm ever in your neck of the woods I'll be sure to visit Wayside Chapel.

    Blessed to have found your site and would love to have you stop in at Fresh Oil Today! sometime.

    Sweet Blessings!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest