The River of Life

Many yeas ago when I was a new Christian, He showed me a wonderful picture.  I saw a beautiful park in the London of a century ago.  I saw many people strolling in the cool of the park, some riding bicycles with the giant front wheels. We approached a large river that created the refreshing ambience of the park.  We saw some people strolling peacefully along the river’s paths, being cooled by the river’s refreshing breeze, while several, having rolled up their pant legs, were sitting on the banks dangling their feet or even their legs in the water.  A few had even slipped off the bank and were bathing in the cooling water while prudently holding fast to thick vines along the bank lest they be swept away by the current.

I understood that this was the River of Life, the Lord’s will, even the Lord Himself.  He showed me that all those in the park were enjoying His refreshing in increasing degrees of intimacy, but that He yearned for even greater intimacy.  I saw that the closest I could be to Him would be to leap into the fast current in the middle of the river (the center of Him) and so I did.  I was immediately afraid for I saw that I had lost all control over my destiny, that the river might tumble me over rapids, dash me against boulders, drown me in an eddy, or wash me out to sea with its myriad dangers.  However, those fears at once fell away from me in the joy and vibrancy of being in Him.

More than giving up things, the necessity of losing control, of giving up self, is death.  We fear knowing God because it requires death.  When we fear, we lash out & wound others. But He desires us to be filled with compassion for those who wound us–to see the darkness, the prison, the despair, the agony and for our hearts to overflow with compassion and love.  Just as we pray for God to have mercy on us, we pray for Him to have mercy on the prisoners who wound us and reject the words of life.  And as we so pray, a river of life flows out through us to the world….

——Kaylyn Turner, April 2000.

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