“Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.”
This summer has been devastating to those who live along the largest Midwest rivers as the incessant rain has caused unprecedented flooding. We had some of those kind of rains here in New England last week and if one ever doubts the power of a river, then just watch what happens when too much goes in, in too short of a time. The same can be said when we overwhelm ourselves with too much of anything. Too many orders, too many hours, too many deadlines, too many conversations to have, too many emails to answer. The flood can overtake us. So, what to do for the floods we know will show again and again? We have to build up berms, levees and barriers to keep ourselves from going under. We have to think and plan ahead. We have to do our best to be ready and to not allow ourselves to get into a place where if the water rises we lose our footing.
I was reading a small book of sermons from the Pastor of BurlPres Church in Burlingame, California. The name of the book is “Walk Like a Philippian” and it covers a sermon series he did on Philippians last year. In one of them he used the analogy of the power of a river and even though the mighty Mississippi River becomes wide, deep and powerful, it starts as a trickle from a spring in the ground. But, what it carries along the way is all kinds of debris, trash, fallen trees, silt and mud. Kind of like the stuff of our lives. What I love about the metaphor is that the river takes all of it away and moves it far from us. And that is what God does with our problems, trials, sins, challenges, failures and worries. He washes them away and then takes all of them from us. We live in a troubled time. As I write this, I am deeply saddened by the senseless loss of life from the past weekend of mass shootings. I am also frustrated (and if I am totally honest, I’m angry) that our society does nothing of substance to make changes that will prevent these from further occurring. I wish I knew the answers, but I know that doing nothing is not acceptable. Yes, God will take all of this and wash it clean, and we have to trust and believe in that. That is His mighty power, the power of the river. Let us pray this day for that power to be felt and that we can see these things change and be swept away from us and for God to move us each personally to do what we are supposed to do to be a part of His river’s work to make our world a better place.
Reference: Revelation 22:1 (New Living Translation)