"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." ~ from ISAIAH 61 Bible verse for this Blog

Monday, April 7, 2008

Peace Like a River

Two songs came to mind today and I was mixing them together! Thinking about how I was led to the theme of Peace a while back and my plan was to flow in that peace. So again, I will try to continue with peace...Jehovah Shalom... God of Peace


The first song is a repetitive one, first comparing peace like a river, than love like an ocean and finally joy like a fountain. It goes like this:


Verse 1:
I’ve got peace like a river,
I’ve got peace like a river,
I’ve got peace like a river in my soul,
I’ve got peace like a river,
I’ve got peace like a river,
I’ve got peace like a river in my soul.


Verse 2:


I’ve got love like an ocean,....(another time)


Verse 3:


I’ve got joy like a fountain,....(and yet another time)


Interestingly enough, the other song, I knew as "It is well" is a beautiful hymn, but it must be recognized as "When Peace Like a River"also because it starts with that:


WHEN PEACE LIKE A RIVER


When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say


It is well, it is well with my soul.
It is well, (echo)with my soul(echo)
It is well, it is well, with my soul! (and this song continues)


In the first upbeat song, I mentioned it was repetitive, much like a river. Perhaps like I write, along my MAZE, MESS, MIRACLES, aMAZING GRACE blog..I'm just learning(give me a break)


Growing up in St. Paul, Minnesota, I have many recollections of spring being the time of floods for the Mississippi River. I didn't live along the river or even above it in the bluffs, but a safe distance away. The reason I was aware of it each spring,was because of the need for sand bagging and extra civilian assistance in the downtown area. Because my dad was a reserve police with the St. Paul Police Department, he always gave of his time and energy, as a volunteer, to assist with traffic or whatever was needed during this time, after his long work day. As I grew older, I soon learned that the area that always flooded belonged to low-income families and later businesses, as they kept moving back away from the river and closer to the bluffs.

In my teens, I had a wonderful opportunity to work with this community, with Sister Giovanni and Sam(a former teacher now "boss"), in a program to help with teaching English to many Spanish speaking people-that needed it for jobs, obtaining their citizenship or GED(general education diploma)(much more difficult than completing high school). There were other nationalities also but Hispanics were the majority. I grew to LOVE and APPRECIATE these people, teaching English but learning Spanish, LOVE their language and their culture, against all odds-my dad.

But now, I am able to carry out my life purpose and life message because of LOVE!



It's my understanding that right now, many residents are battling with "flood waters" in many areas of the rivers that flow into the Mississippi River.
Floods and droughts are often local phenomena. One county can suffer drought while...

http://images.ctv.ca/archives/CTVNews/img2/20080321/160_ap_flooding_080321.jpg
The rivers are rising and have been on a rapid path of destruction: certainly not peaceful living. But they can find peace, from the second song, when they can rise up and proclaim "it is well with my soul". An inner peace surfaces amidst the heart break of loosing everything! And they MUST remain positive and tell themselves repeatedly, it is well with my soul, it is well...it is well with my soul...in spite of the river. I'm sure they've asked WHY as they CRY but I know they can relate to this passage:


Psalm 69:1-3 KJV


1Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul.
2I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.
3I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.

In the other versions...it says "up to my neck" or "my life is threatened". How vivid an image, yet very real for all the current people in this situation! And even though they may grow weary and even their throats dry out from crying out for God's saving power...verses 13-18 says:


13But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.
14Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.
15Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.
16Hear me, O LORD; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.
17And hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me speedily.
18Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it: deliver me because of mine enemies

Culminating in a victory in verse 30:


30 I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
probably a version of the ABOVE SONGS!!!



Giving testimony in verse 32:

32The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God.


Celebrating the victory in verse 33 and 34:


33 For the LORD heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners.
34Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein.


For God will save (the Midwest people along the Mississippi River and others) and will build the cities...that they may dwell there and have possession. [from verse 35] once again!


And Jesus speaks of this in John 7: 37-38
37In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
38He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

The river illustrates our struggles in life and creates many struggles for our lives. It forces us to bond together to hold back the rushing waters, reminding us all earthly things are temporary and can fail us or destroy us.



In many sermons and parables while teaching, Jesus tries to explain and gives us warnings as in Matthew 7:



So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
The Narrow and Wide Gates
13"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.

14
But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

A Tree and Its Fruit
15"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 
17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.


21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
The Wise and Foolish Builders
24 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.


In different places, along the rivers, we have even built dams, to hold back the waters and levees that should, and have channeled that power into energy.


From the peaceful, flowing river comes an energy that gives power!

From the peace within each one of us, the Holy Spirit channels His power and strength, to bring about a forceful message of hope in the One, who doesn't fail us or overpowers us, but gives us a gentle prodding that beckons us to come and draw from His Living Water.


The greater reminder is for us to seek and find hope in Christ alone! "To show we are Christians, by our love"(another song) and our testimony! Build your life, your house upon the Solid Rock, A Firm Foundation, One that will not be shaken, if you put your trust in Him. He is Jehovah Shalom...The Lord...Our Peace. Let Him lead you into that peace through His narrow gate... One WAY ... JESUS!

Let us pray for ALL affected by the FLOOD WATERS, that they will have "peace" in the midst of their storm, and ALL necessary provision to restore what the enemy has stolen...that they might find Strength for their weariness, Comfort in their losses, HOPE instead of hopelessness, PEACE instead of despair so that they might see with Heavenly eyes on this earthly tribulation!



2 comments:

  1. Amen Peggy! This prayer is and always will be current to 'today'. The times we are in see many natural disasters happening on a regular basis.

    May people find the Ark, Who is Jesus Christ, where they will be safe from the storms of life.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Visitandoles desde El Salvador Centroamerica, reciban muchas bendiciones desde mi blog www.creeenjesusyserassalvo.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

Bless you for your visit and encouraging words! I thank you and I am humbly blessed by YOU and the time you spend with me... Peace, "Mazmagi" Peggy

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