A river touches places of which its source knows nothing, and Jesus says if we have received of His fullness, however small the visible measure of our lives, out of us will flow the rivers that will bless to the uttermost parts of the earth (O. Chambers).
Lord, make me a river.
I’ve gazed in wonder at plenty of rivers, some with nose-mashed-to-window through the double-paned window of an airplane while cruising at an altitude of 38,000 feet. I’ve rafted down the Guadalupe (never mind that I was nearly 8 months pregnant with my first at the time and was later advised by my obstetrician against such risks). In my own community, I’ve traveled countless times over Lake Hickory, a lake birthed from the Catawba River which got its name from the native American tribe that settled there and identified themselves as “the people of the river.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catawba_River
Thanks to illustrated history books and documentaries, I’ve traversed the continents and seen the Nile, the mighty Amazon, and the Jordan River.
Aside from God’s speaking water into existence in the beginning (Genesis 1:1a) and separating water from water (Genesis 1:6), a river doesn’t just appear. It originates from underground streams, rainwater, or melted snow at upper elevations that trickles into a stream, merges with others streams, which then form a river.
A river has a source.
Whoever believes in Me, as the scripture has said,
streams of living water will flow from within him. John 7:38
God created a headwater of His life-giving Spirit within my soul, called it forth to flow from within, and fulfill His purpose.
From its headwaters, a river is unaware of how far-reaching it has – or will eventually – become. It doesn’t beg to know if it’s been a blessing of food, transportation, recreation, farming, or industry.
I know my Source and my Source knows me.
Nor is it hindered by obstacles. Rather, it cuts and pushes its way through and around, smoothing rough surfaces.
A river is about the business of being a river, doing what God designed it to do.
“A river does not just flow – it changes the surface of the earth.”
Yet, a river is under the sovereign control of God.
“When you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.” Isaiah 43:2b
Outside the will of God, I don’t get to cast my eye on a perceived enemy,
step up the pace from a harmless flow to a deadly rush, and overflow my banks seeking destruction.
Lord, make me a river.
~Make me a river that can reach impossible places.
~Make me a river that meanders away from temptation.
~Make me a river that carries its load and bears the burden of others.
~Make me a river that slows in places,
~Make me a river that carries and deposits nutrients to those living along my banks who don’t yet know my Source of living water.
~Make me a river that persists through and around obstacles in life’s rough terrain, carving out deep valleys out of hard rock.
~Make me a river that unflinchingly mingles my fresh water with that of the salty sea, letting grace be the answer to our differences.
~Make me a river blessedly UNaware of the impact I’ve had in order to avoid fueling the pride engine.
God rarely allows a soul to see how great a blessing he is (O. Chambers).
Oh Lord, make me a river, one that doesn’t just flow, but changes the surface of the earth, one that will bless, ever aware of its Source.