Monday, August 20, 2007

The River Speaks

I had one morning of our Jasper vacation all to myself.
It was a lovely day -- perfect to spend in quiet thoughts with God.
So I took my bible and my notebook and walked the few yards down behind our cabin to the red bench in the photo and sat and watched the river. The two hours or so that I spent there, I will always remember as a special time.

I looked down at the beautiful river…and
I thought about the river of life that flows from God’s throne and wondered that God choose a river and not a lake or an ocean.

"And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb." (Rev.22:1)

I thought of the ways that the physical river before me symbolized the characteristics of that spiritual, heavenly river of God.


THE SOURCE
The river's source is not seen when you look at the river. Yet we know that it comes from the high places of the earth and its waters will return there again.
I had my bible in my hand and opened it...It fell open to Ecc.1 and my eyes rested on verse 7 which reads. "All the rivers run into the sea, Yet the sea is not full. To the place from which the rivers come, there they return again."

So God's river of life too flows from Him and returns to Him again. - all things come from God and all things return to Him again.

EXPERIENCE THE RIVER
The river is a place where people love to come.
As I sat watching the river that morning, several white water rafts came drifting down stream. Everyone was obviously enjoying the experience and they all waved at me as they went by.
There is something inviting about a river!

I saw children playing in the river. They stayed where it was shallow enough to be safe for them. Older, braver souls risked the deeper water.

Ezekiel when he was shown the river of God saw that the water came up to his ankles, then the water came up to his waist, then the water was so deep he needed to swim. (Exek.37:3,4,5)

Some Christians have only enough faith to wade in God's river up to their ankles, others dare to walk in up to their waists and others throw themselves into the river and abandon themselves to the waters of life --- wanting God's Spirit to permeate their being --- to fill their thoughts, their actions, their worship !!!


THE LIGHT OF THE RIVER
I loved how the sunlight caught the countless tiny mirrors riding the crests of the waves and reflected the light back to itself in a wondrous dance giving glory to the sun.

I can only imagine the glory of God's river that flows from His throne. Words like clear as crystal, pure -- only give us hints.
Can you imagine the beauty of the Light of the Son of God reflected on His river?
"And the city had no need of the sun neither of the moon to shine in it; the glory of God did lighten it and the Lamb is the light thereof." (Rev.21:23)



BECOMING ONE WITH THE RIVER
Tiny streams gently trickling ever downward,
water tumbling over mountain rock walls asks no direction –
they all find their way into the river and becomes one with it.

We too are called to lose ourselves in God's river of life. We become one with the One who created us in His image -- He in us and we in Him.

"Hereby know we that we dwell in him and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit." (I John 4:13)

‘Nevertheless..I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me….” (Gal.2;20)


ETERNAL
I listened to the continuous, gentle rushing of the river over its rocky bed and I thought about how it never stops. Every day, every hour, every minute it flows in divine rhythm, keeping God’s time.

It pictures for us the eternity of God as well as the things of God…what is of God shall never pass away.
The river flowed through the Garden of Eden; it shall flow in the New Jerusalem.

“I know that what ever God does, it shall be forever…..” (Ecc. 3;14)

CLEANSING
Have you ever watched how debris that falls in the river is so easily washed away?
Whether it is a paper cup or a house caught in a flash flood, the rushing waters carry it away down stream leaving no evidence of it .

So also the river of God washes, and cleanses , taking our sin out of God’s sight.

“ are not the rivers of Damascus better….Could I not wash in them and be clean?” asked Naaman. (II Kings 5:12) The answer was no, it must be the river of God.



LIFE
How things thrive on the river bank! Trees drinking continually of the life giving water grow strong and tall.

How much more we if we sink our roots deep into the waters of life of God’s river?

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord…and whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes…”
(Jer.17:7,8)

In the middle of the street and on either side of the river…was the tree of life!!" (Rev.22:2)

THE VOICE OF THE RIVER
How I loved listening to the voice of the river. The calming sound of rushing water.
Yet the river can also raise its voice . Just a few kilometres from where I sat beside the river, were the crashing Athabasca falls. Here the river’s voice was raised to a roar, no longer a gentle, hypnotic sound but a voice that could not be ignored.
(Click
here to hear the Athabasca Falls as I stood at the top of the falls - make sure you turn your volume up) So God also speaks, sometimes softly – and how easily we tune Him out.
But then He speaks with the “voice of many waters”.
“And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and the voice of loud thunder!” (Rev.14:2)

God speaks, and how comforting it is to hear His voice, but let us not become so preoccupied with the things of this world that we turn away from Him and He must raise His voice to get our attention.

Next time you see a river or hear the rippling of running water....listen for the soft gentle voice of God and thrill to the knowing that God is forever and forever we will be with Him.
"There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabbernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved." (Ps.46:4,5)

4 comments:

Sara said...

Thank you for your words of teaching and encouragement and illustration...you are so gifted at that.

Demara said...

My heart was at peace when I read this post. I sat on that red bench with you, heard the rushing water, and saw the presence of our Lord in the pictures.

He is
magnificently breathtaking!!!

Demara said...

I just wanted to let you know that I nominated you too...you can see it here

Vicki said...

Amen!

Thank you for using your gift so well and sharing it with us.

Your photos are marvelous!