July 15, 2015 Ponder
There is something about watching a river that brings a feeling of peace. Waterfalls speak of power and beauty. The ocean seems endless. But a flowing river makes a statement of calm. A small stream or the mighty Columbia River – each offers its own picture of peace.
The writer of the Book of Isaiah had to share discouraging forecasts about the destruction of the City of Jerusalem, but near the end of the story, he talked about future days with a new heaven and earth. He wrote that people should “be joyful over Jerusalem and rejoice for her,” for the Lord says, “I extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream.”
A songwriter once penned: “I’ve got peace like a river in my soul.” The lyrics continue with “love like an ocean and joy like a fountain.” I wonder where that person was when those words were written. It is possible to have a heart filled with grief and a mind with many questions and at the same time sit by a river and feel a great sense of calm. I realize that I am at peace with Creator God, with other humans and with myself. In that treasured moment, I have peace like a river in my soul.
To sense peace in our soul is to feel calm on the inside. Life can be giving us all kinds of turmoil and challenges, but we can have peace within that can only be described as beyond human. Sin upsets and confuses, but God’s forgiveness brings calm. It is true in our relationship with the Creator as well as in our experiences with each other. Our innermost being, our soul, can be peaceful even in the midst of noise and confusion.
Decades ago, a young friend of ours discovered she had leukemia, and within a few days, she was in heaven – at age 18. Knowing what was imminent and confident of her future because of Jesus, just hours before her departure she and her sister laughed and talked and sang together: “I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river in my soul.”
God gives us many reminders of Himself and His Grace. Take the time to sit and watch a river and feel peace.
Pastor Bill Ehmann