March 2024

Rivers of Life

We’ve had a weekend of friends and fellowship. Brunch with two other couples yesterday, Church this morning, and lunch with another couple in their lovely home today. It was a delight to share about the things of God and speak to one another in “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” (Ephesians 5:19) that never fail to energize and encourage. Like a dancing waterfall, surging through the mountains from one plateau to the next, full of life and sound and destiny, so is the Spirit-inspired conversation of the children of God.

The stories of these friends we love and care for are rife with trials and suffering of all kinds, and yet the overarching theme of all of them is victory and joy and hope. Life on planet earth is not for the faint of heart, but God being rich in mercy has made a way into His eternal presence. “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11 ESV)

The things which are costly are often the things we most treasure. I have found in my own journey that suffering carves out room for His presence and His work, if I allow Him to have His sovereign and good way. He does more than save my soul. He also takes up residence and performs the miracle of transformation, if I submit to His Lordship.

You see, He didn’t come to make my way easy. He came to show me His way, which is truth and life: beauty beyond description. The turning of the cheek. The meek and gentle spirit. The laying down of my life and my own way. Taking up the cross He has given me. These are contrary to the way of the world, which demands rights, strains to get ahead, seeks selfish desires, and lashes out in the fear of death.

I choose His way, and therefore delight in His ways. Nothing is more breathtaking than witnessing a reconciliation, where forgiveness is more than excusing and mercy opens the door for communion.

Dear One, has your heart been broken, bruised, or battered? Is there a cavern that requires His kind and good attention? I urge you to submit yourself to Him and let Him have His way with you. Meet Him in the desert and find what was dry, thirsty and desolate can become a stream of living water.

“The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;
    the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;
it shall blossom abundantly
    and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
    the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
    the majesty of our God.

Strengthen the weak hands,
    and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who have an anxious heart,
    “Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God
    will come with vengeance,
with the recompense of God.
    He will come and save you.”

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
    and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
    and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
For waters break forth in the wilderness,
    and streams in the desert;
the burning sand shall become a pool,
    and the thirsty ground springs of water;
in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,
    the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

And a highway shall be there,
    and it shall be called the Way of Holiness….” (Isaiah 35:1-8a ESV)

Until next week, beloved, submit to His way with you and receive living water.

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