Saturday, May 14, 2011

All Waters Meet at the Mighty Mississippi

Okay, so not ALL American waterways meet at the Mighty Mississippi, but at times like today it sure seems that way.

Countless gallons of water are flowing at daunting rates down this awe-inspiring, unforgiving mammoth of a force to be reckoned with.  People are evacuating...or rather most have already done so who took heed of the warnings.  This is no Hurricane Katrina.  People KNOW they are living in the direct path of the watershed that will come as the spillway is opened.  No "the last hurricane wasn't that bad."  This is a given.

As I ponder all of the possibilities, I am in no way envious nor judgmental of the officials who had to make the tough decision to divert this water through many of our Cajun communities.  It was literally a decision between hundreds of homes and thousands.  Never an easy decision.  Ever.

Couple of things come to mind...

1.  God faced a similar yet more excruciating decision.  He chose to send His sinless Son to die a gruesome death in order to pay the inevitable ransom that is the consequence of our sin.  He did this so that He could save and set free any and all who would believe in Him and His work on our behalf and in turn accept His free but costly gift.  And, His Son additionally faced, endured, and defeated death and rose again and now lives and reigns at the right hand of His Father---our Father.  He is returning soon to bring us all to His side and even to reign on this earth.  Are you ready?  He will come when we least expect---like a thief in the night.

2.  This is what the LORD says—
   your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the LORD your God,
   who teaches you what is best for you,
   who directs you in the way you should go.
If only you had paid attention to my commands,
   your peace would have been like a river,
   your well-being like the waves of the sea.
Your descendants would have been like the sand,
   your children like its numberless grains;
their name would never be blotted out
   nor destroyed from before me.”

For this is what the LORD says:
   “I will extend peace to her like a river,
   and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream;

you will nurse and be carried on her arm
   and dandled on her knees.
As a mother comforts her child,
   so will I comfort you;
   and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.” 

So, God says He wants to and will give us "peace like a river."  From what you and I know of the Mighty Mississippi these days, do you view a river as being peaceful?!  Not exactly.  

Well, that depends on what you think He means by "peace."

Lazy, tea-sippin', book-readin', lyin' back in the hammock without a care in the world nor a thing on the agenda to do.

That's what you're thinking when you think of peace, right?  

As Beth Moore points out in her study called Breaking Free
  1. "A river is a moving stream of water.  God's Word doesn't say we'll have peace like a pond.  Some imagine peaceful people as boring and a breath from death.  We think we'd rather forego peace and have an exciting life.  Beloved, few bodies of water are more exciting than rivers!...We can have active, exciting lives without suffering through a life of turmoil...When God used the analogy of a river, He described a peace that can be retained while life twists, turns, and rolls over boulders...To have peace like a river is to have security and tranquility of heart and mind while meeting many bumps and unexpected turns on life's journey through change.  Peace is submission to a trustworthy Authority, not a resignation from all activity."
  2. "A river is a body of fresh water fed by springs or tributary streams.  I've found that I can't retain a spirit of peace in the present by relying on a relationship from the past.  Peace comes from an active, ongoing, and obedient relationship with the Prince of Peace.  He wants to feed us with the Living Water of His Holy Spirit and a steady stream of His Word until we have peace like a river."
  3. And her final point on "peace like a river":  "A river begins and ends with a body of water.  Every river has an upland source and an ultimate outlet or mouth.  Rivers are fully dependent and are always connected to other bodies of water.  Likewise, peace like a river flows from a continuous connection with the upland Source, Jesus Christ, and a timely reminder that this life will ultimately spill into a glorious eternal life.  This life is not our destination, hallelujah!  We who know Christ personally move continually over rocks and sometimes cliffs, through narrow places and wide valleys to a heavenly destination.  Until then, abiding in Christ (John 15:4) is the key to staying deliberately connected with our upland Source...God's authority not only brings peace like a river but righteousness like the waves of the sea.  Not righteous perfection.  Righteous consistency...God's way is the safe way.  The right way.  And the only peaceful way in a chaotic world...The path to peace is paved with knee-prints."
I think it is not at all by coincidence that God had me participate right now in an online Bible study of Breaking Free.  Not only did I just finish studying the book of Isaiah for the past several months in BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) - which by the way, Isaiah is the central book of the Bible that Breaking Free is based on - but of course I also live in an area that is closely watching and potentially affected by the rise and fall of the waters of the Mississippi River.

Coincidence?  I think not.

So, wherever you find yourself on your life journey right now - evacuating a home and town that you love, going back into a flood-ravaged or tornado-ransacked home and town, watching all of this from a distance with a heart of concern, or even moreso struggling with the numerous tornadoes and floods of life that have nothing to do with weather - wherever you are, whatever you are doing and considering...consider your only Source of true peace and security.

His name is Jesus.

He is the Prince of Peace.  The Lover of your soul.  The Wonderful Counselor.  
The Comforter.  The King of Kings.

Run to Him.  Cry to Him.  Ask Him to help you come to a place where you can even thank Him.

He knows your pain.  He knows your struggle.  He's been there...and worse. 

Trust Him.

Please also feel free to leave a written prayer here for yourself and/or those who are or have been in the path of the floods, tornadoes, and various other storms of life.

And here is a song I really find peaceful in times when water is threatening our way of life:
Washed by the Water by NeedToBreathe

1 comment:

misterp said...

My thought on this is God is our Ocean and Jesus is our river that leads us, and connects us to God and all the creeks that lead to the river is us as Christians that help others find their way to the river(Jesus) that leads them to the Ocean (God)