The River

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear,though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her,she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

7 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.       Psalm 46 (NIV)

Have you noticed how often God speaks about rivers in His Word? I grew up in a town along the Mississippi River. I have stood on its banks during a sweltering summer and I have seen it flow with huge chunks of ice during a bitter cold winter. My mother told a story of how this mighty river did freeze solid when she was a young girl and her father walked across it. What pictures is God calling to my mind when He speaks of a river and what does that teach me?

The Flow. There is a cavern in Chattanooga, TN with a waterfall named Ruby Falls can be seen deep within the moutain like a hidden jewel of God’s creation. I’m not a spelunker but for my one and only lifetime walk down into the earth, I am forever grateful that I made the trip and experienced seeing this phenomena. A river may flow in full view of sunlight through mountain ranges and flatlands or it may dip below the earth’s surface like the Tennessee River did to create Ruby Falls. God too works in full view every day but He is also there in the quiet aloneness when we often need His Presence the most. Psalm 139 testifies that I can never hide from God and neither can I be lost from Him as all I have to do is cry out “Father, I need You!” and God is there before the words come from my mouth. His Spirit moves over, through and around me covering me with His love and wisdom.

The Power. If I were to stand on the shore of the Mississippi River in my hometown the river would seem to move slowly as I looked out on it. But if I were to attempt to swim across the river, I would soon feel the undertow of the river and suddenly I do not see the river as lazy and slumberous. A river can push boats with tons of payload much like I move a piece on a checkerboard. The Niagara River flows into the impressive Niagara Falls, supplying power to thousands of people.

God’s power is a concept nearly impossible for me to define or comprehend. Like His love, His power is vast and all-encompassing. With a Word, He spoke all that I know into being, as His creation.

The Life. Water that sits stagnate is a dead pool. A river usually is full of life with many levels of creatures. The river itself provides life to all that it touches as it flows from source to mouth.

God desires that my life ebb and flow much like a river. There will times of great activity, even easily recognizable power. There are also times of quiet when His work may seem hidden and He uses me like a stealth weapon that is not recognized by those around me but God and I know and rejoice in what He has been doing.

There is a quietness in my life right now. A season that is filled with prayer and listening as God teaches and pours Himself into me. I am so grateful for God’s faithfulness in my life. The assurance and building of faith has been an infusion of power that is for me but also God intends that I plug into others and be a conduit of His grace and mercy. God’s River is Life and refreshing to a world that is parched and dry.

The River is Here written & sung by Andy Park

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