Thursday, September 2, 2010

Peace Like A River

I’ve always been intrigued with the promise found in Isaiah 66:12 “For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river…” The reason this interests me is because most rivers aren’t peaceful. Oh, once in awhile you see a slow, easy flowing river, but for the most part rivers travel downhill and that means rapids and currents and crashing into rocks, trees and other debris encountered along the way. This made me wonder what the Lord meant by “peace like a river.”

Then it occurred to me that what I am seeing is only the surface of the water. And what the eye beholds is not all that exists. Especially in a deep river, underneath the bubbly, rolling surface the waters are peaceful. There the fish swim in calm waters. Underneath the rapids there is tranquility like what is found under the giant waves of the sea.

There is a beautiful analogy here. When we Live in Truth life “bubbles” around us with stresses and worries. The busy current of life is fraught with dire situations and adversity. But when we live in Truth there is peace at our core and that peace provides power and energy to strengthen our resolves and a calm that guides us through the bustling activity on the outside.

After discovering this metaphor, I was delighted one day to find an album by one of my favorite artists, Christopher Parkening, entitled Grace Like A River that is a wonderful Truth Tool. Parkening is a classical guitarist and the songs on this album help us remember that the peace of the river and the peace within us is a gift, it is the enabling power or grace of God. Of course I bought the album and every time I play it I experience more delight as I remember the metaphor of the river and feel Parkening’s music convey grace and love into the very marrow of my bone to increase the peace that flows deep within.


Camille said...

I just picked my weekly affirmation from Isaiah. Isaiah 26:3
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee

Gwendolyn said...

Similar thoughts, Sherrie, led to writing this poem. I thought you may resonate with it!

The Pearl

On storm tossed sea
Wind rages high,
The twisting waves unfurl.
A fierce mist whips
The darkened sky:
Black shell above the pearl.
Below the waves
This lustrous gem
Of steadfast calm resides.
So deep beneath
Each hurricane,
My faith in Thee abides.

Can I endure
This tempest long?
I cannot see its end.
Each uttered prayer
Ascends to Thee
I pray Thy ear to lend
Toward reaching heart,
And wind-whipped thought.
I cry out with anguished soul.
Then instantly!
My fear is gone;
I remember it no more.

This place, so still,
A refuge sure,
Is steadfast, always there.
Prick my heart
To think of Thee.
Forgetfulness is a snare.
Praise be Thy name,
Oh, Master of the deep!
Whose waters obey Thy hand.
Help me remain
Obedient to the end.

My spirit sways,
As cradled soft
In arms of heavenly grace.
My brow is soothed,
My soul stays calm
Beneath each crashing wave.
This perfect pearl,
Each layer formed
Around faith's tiny grain.
Through moments of
Communion sweet
My hope remains sustained.

By, Gwendolyn Soper 2007


Beautiful poem!