Rivers flow, pouring strong from their source. The river touches places along the way– banks, logs, stones. The river touches people and plants. The things touched by the river know not the source of the river. The river makes its way around any obstacles in its path. The power emerging from the strength of the river may be harnessed for use or left to flow free.
In the Fertile Crescent, where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers flowed, a civilization once grew, called Mesopotamia. Where the Nile overflowed, the Egyptian civilization prospered for a time. Where the Indus flowed, another civilization lived. Rivers flowed like veins, offering life to the people living there. Where a river flowed, so did life.
I wend my way along the path by the water, underneath birches and pines. It is still, the lake, and lilies quietly dot the edges of the water. I think of these things, these days of old, people past, and how water offered life.
A river courses through my life, like veins. I look at the obstacles, I see the winding path, and feel the torrent of pain when waves crash in my life. Rocks, boulders, felled trees, raging rapids are the norm; calm waters are a welcome relief, a brief respite, a time to breathe and rest. A peaceful sea is not the usual state of affairs in life, but storms are.
Balsam needles tickle my elbows as I walk, and I observe dozens of fallen birches, with the papery white bark peeling off like thick rolls of white tape. The water is still, but life moves fast, like unforgiving rapids, moving around boulders, polishing them smooth over time with the files of the waves.
As I stand in the spot of life where three rivers meet, where my life intersects His and intersects others’ lives, I am undone by the confusion of the connection points and obstacles. Blue cold water splashes, awakens me.
How then must I live?
How then, especially when waves threaten to drown me, pull me under in the darkness?
I remember the river, a ribbon of living water, the river that moves me, lives in me, and moves around the obstructions.
“A river touches places of which its source knows nothing… A river is victoriously persistent, it overcomes all barriers… Keep paying attention to the Source, and God will either take you round the obstacle or remove it. The obstacle is a matter of indifference to the river which will flow steadily through you if you remember to keep right at the Source.” – Oswald Chambers, from My Utmost for His Highest.
So I stand at the point where three rivers meet. I know not what torrents lie ahead, or what storms await. I know not the obstacles in my path down the bend, only that they surely exist. I only know the Source, and He guides the way along the river, and I am reminded of this:
“The obstacle is a matter of indifference to the river which will flow steadily through you if you remember to keep right at the Source…Think of the healing and far-flung rivers nursing themselves in our souls! God has been opening up marvelous truths to our minds, and every point He has opened up is an indication of the wider power of the river He will flow through us. If you believe in Jesus, you will find that God has nourished you in mighty torrents of blessing for others.” – Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
Obstacles are a matter of indifference… and isn’t it true of actual rivers that flow? The river knows not the obstacles, goes around it, over it… and continues on, compelled by the power of its source. Such is a life pulsing with rivers of living water. And I know with Him, I won’t be carried aimlessly away or succumb to the waves.
Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” John 7:38
Sharing with Emily at Imperfect Prose:
with Laura at The Wellspring:
and with Jen at Soli Deo Gloria: