Saturday, December 12, 2015

God's presence in a river

Today I read this devotional and it evoked a beautiful image of a gently flowing river representing the love of God.

I've always loved rivers. One of our favorite things to do is stay at the River Inn in Truckee, CA. It's great to get a room where we can hear the water flowing by, and sit on the deck to watch it. I read that flowing water -- rivers, waterfalls, the ocean -- put negative ions in the air, and that is probably why being near to water causes the positive feelings we often experience near them.

Associating a river with God's love seems wonderful. His love flowing through us like a river. Floating on the river of his love. Feeling the cool waters of his love. 

The Isaiah passages linked in this devotional are apt in this time of conspiracies and fear:
Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy;
do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. -- Isaiah 8:12
And the Psalm is amazing.
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble. 
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging 
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day. 
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. 
Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire. 
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. -- Psalm 46 
The part that says, "There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God" make me think of "There is a balm in Gilead..." from the hymn:
There is balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole
There's power enough in heaven, To cure a sin-sick soul.
The word "balm" just feels like a balm, doesn't it?

The reference to a river also reminds me of the Jordan River often talked about in the Bible. I love "Far Side Banks of Jordan" sung by the Cox family and Allison Krauss.  The chorus makes me imagine when we'll see my brother in heaven someday. I don't think he'll be "drawing pictures in the sand," but I can just see him: "And when I see you coming I will rise up with a shout and come running through the shallow waters reaching for your hand."

So much richness in thinking about God and a river.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
...
Be still, and know that I am God


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