Wednesday, April 28, 2010

On River's Bank

Swimming in cool, rushing waters, . . .

I move gracefully toward a goal, feeling the freedom of flowing currents, knowing power over depth.  My arms move effortlessly, without fatigue or pain.  My legs are straight behind me giving me strength.  My head stays above the flood; my eyes focus on destiny.

Such describes my dreams of rivers. 

Yet, much irony lies in those dreams.  In my real life, I cannot swim and have a deep respect for bodies of water.  I do not like water in my eyes or ears.  And two near-drowning incidents have left their marks on my mind.

Still, I love rivers.  Particularly those mountain streams that move with life and air and sky and wind.

I easily remember special places where such rivers live.  There is an old country store with a grist mill in the North Georgia mountains, and behind that store is a wooden walkway where one can watch the turning of the wheel and trout swim in the currents.  The rushing waters cascade with perfect harmony.  Their music echos in my soul.  It is a God-created tonic.  I have stood there several times drinking its peace.  

Yet, greater still is drinking in the peace of another river.  It is that "river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells" (Psalm 46:4, NIV).  It is a river I do not fear, even in my real life.  It is a river more pure than any other river.  It is a real river of relief.  It is a river that thunders with praise of divine power.  It is a river for tasting, drinking, wading, and plunging, and for walking of its banks.

It is my river.  And, it is your river.  

To be honest with you, friends, I need a drink from that river.  I need to stand on its bank and wade into its effervescence.  To be affected by its persuasive authority.  To be guided into its healing falls. 

For, all channels that rill from its presence make glad the sacred places of my life.  All streams from its Source make glad the scarred places in my heart. 

"Glad" in original Hebrew means to rejoice or cheer up. 

So, placing my own heart-spin on Psalm 46:4, I perceive that river as the Holy Spirit and paraphrase the following: 

When my heart is in need, when my life feels broken, when I reach my endpoint, I can fall on my face and seek my Creator of rivers.  He will send His Holy Spirit to fill my emptiness and heal my hurts.  His sacred presence will change my mourning into dancing, my pain to praise, my endpoint to a new point.  

The past several months have been a tiring swim.  I am slightly stretched.  I miss my home and my familiar surroundings.  Our church is suffering need.  Physically, my health is daily challenging.  And, other needs unspoken now, press and weigh.  Yet, like David,  "I am still confident of this:  I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living" (Psalm 27:13, NIV). 

In the New King James Version, that scripture reads, "I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living."  And verse 14 ends the psalm with some of the most encouraging words in scripture:  "Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!"

Sometimes we have to wait to wade, to venture out into and drink His living water.  We sit on the bank so thirsty and fatigued, yet so hopeful because of faith's vision.  

Turning to the Word in those dry, dessertlike seasons is our refuge.  Because. . .  

We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you (2 Corinthians 4:7-12). 

My suffering does not compare to Paul's or so many others; yet, it is working my death and His life in me.  I guess what I'm saying, dear friend, is that His grace is enough.  And, though sometimes it seems all we have, we stand unshaken because it really is all we need.  And, I believe.  No, I know future glory will reveal that truth in all of us. 

Unyielding, I vision His water!  Unshaken, I proclaim that God is in control!  Unmoved, I stand by grace!   

On His River's Bank,  



  1. Glorious truths!
    Bless you, dear sister!!!

    Love in Christ~ Miss Jen

  2. Beautiful words, as always. I feel closer to God than anywhere when sitting by water, listening, watching the ever changing colours. There is no where quite so peaceful.

  3. Isa 45:2-3
    No, there is none like our Jesus! He will go before you and level the mountains, He will break down gates of bronze and cut thru bars of iron. He will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that He is the LORD, the God of Israel, who SUMMONS YOU by name!
    He will do it!

  4. Hi dear Andrea,
    I latch on to this: It is a real river of relief.
    Oh, we belong to Him. Whew.

  5. Dearest Andrea, This is one of the best posts I've read anywhere a quite a bit. I'm with you girl about wading into the water-lets join hands o.k. There is a song about the River of God that sets our feet to dancing....
    Thank you dear one for sharing this day, thank you for always providing truth and refreshment here. I'd love to pray for you if you have me at
    Hugs, Noreen

  6. I needed this today! Thank you, Andrea.

  7. Remembering how, last week, we drank some of the Living Water together.

    What encouragement!

    Prayed for you and Jeff this morning.

    Hope to talk to you soon.

    Love and

    Sweet dreams.

  8. Keep your eyes on that stream, Andrea.

    This was beautiful. My problem is that I have to go to the stream, and my life is too often filled with detours and obstacles...sometimes I think I'm too busy to drink. But I pay the price.

    Thanks for making me thirsty again!

  9. These scriptures have really helped me tonight! I'm joining you in that river and believing in His wonderful grace.

  10. The words of you post strike deep, dear friend. And like you, I know what it is like to sit by quiet waters, and letting the Shepherd of my soul restore me, and give me rest.

    How beautifully you paint with words, Andrea.

    Thank you for letting me drink from that deep river of delight.

    The verse you quoted about the river of God whose streams make one of my favorites.

    Gladness and delight! These are also what I feel when I come to that river, to be nourished, to be replenished, to be washed!


  11. Waiting and wading with you, sister, and dipping my ladle into that heavenly stream today to be filled. I pray we both know that filling...

    "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled." (Mt. 5:6)


  12. ...and how often I stand there with you Andrea, needing to drink from that stream. This description was like a beautiful song, it ministred to my heart this morning.

    Love you sweet sister, and thank you.


  13. Andrea,
    Thank you for your reminder you left me today.
    I had forgotten that you had lived in Savannah. What a lot of history there is to be seen and learned there. Although I must confess........the city was CRAZY while we were there and I told my husband. "Once is enough for me" in regard to going there again.

    We went to Tybee and to St. Simon's...which was my personal favorite out of all of the places we visited. I loved all the John Wesley memorabilia there.

    Anyhow there are new cities to visit and conquer. Savannah was a wonderful trip but next time we shall go to a new place to explore.

  14. He leadeth me beside still waters....I loved reading this post.:)

  15. II Cor 4:7-12 Are verses of scriptures that were especially special to me as I made my journey through the valley of cancer and chemotherapy.

    Sending thoughts and prayers your way.

    As always, a beautiful post

  16. Andrea, this dear sister is priceless! Words spoken with a heart for GOD and the depths of understanding that HE is our everything. I was deeply moved by this sharing and I appreciate and love you.

  17. I am also blessed by the message of this post. Thank you for sharing what the Lord has laid on your heart with us.

  18. What beautiful words of comfort and encouragement my dear! I am at the point of exaustion and this is what I needed to read this morning. Blessings to you!

  19. What beautiful words of comfort and encouragement my dear! I am at the point of exaustion and this is what I needed to read this morning. I thank the Lord for the talent of writing He has gifted you with! Blessings to you!

  20. I know well the store and grist mill that you spoke of in my beloved mountains! I closed my eyes and I was standing there, feeding the trout as a small child. And sometimes I feel like I don't just need a drink from that river, I need to just soak in it!

    Psalm 27:13 was one of the Scriptures that the Lord gave me when I was going through a hard time as well. I am praying for you in your challenges.

    Love you,


  21. Wonderful word! Thanks for stopping by are a dear friend.
    Love, Rayanne

  22. I'm late getting here, but oh am I glad I didn't miss this one!

    Hardly a day passes that I don't find myself longing for His presence, NOW, right here; His kingdom finally come to earth, and that life-giving river flowing from His majestic throne.

    As it is, I'll wade as I'm able, drinking in the refreshing, thirst-quenching waters that promise of more to come.

    I hope you're feeling better soon, friend. These aging bodies can be so ornery.


  23. I haven't been to Helen in many years, but remember the area you wrote about here...

    Amen...His grace is enough...standing in prayer with you for all your needs....

  24. Andrea,

    Thank you for saying the words that I so needed to hear today:).

    God Bless you,


  25. Andrea.....
    I love Helen....haven't been there in years, but was just reminiscing about it with my sis from NC last week. She's been here helping with the care of our mama. My sis wore a beautiful necklace she bought there many years ago while she was visiting me AZ. Your mention of Helen blessed me so.....I't a GA Gal thing, as you well know!!

    I must tell you that this "River" post is so close to my heart. Your words echoed my deep desire to be emersed in the powerfully precious depths of the River of God! I'm posting my thoughts on this line sometime in the future and your words ministered to me so.

    I standing in prayer with you sweet sister.........He is Faithful!!

    Luv, Hugs and Sweet Blessings!

  26. Great testimony Andrea with reminders of some artwork of mine hanging in my hall.
    "Sometimes God calms the storm, and sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child"

    The paradox of water can save our life and can drown us. Certainly soemthing to be respected.

    Blessings Barbara

  27. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment on my blog. I enjoyed browsing through your posts. You have a very inspiring blog.


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