The River


Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 

~Revelation 22:1, NLT


Everything has a source.


During my days in New Orleans, I crossed the Mississippi River many times. Huge sea going vessels lined the banks of this massive river. A little further North in Vicksburg, there is the I-20 bridge that crosses the river and it’s still an intimidating river at that point. I have probably crossed it most in Memphis on I-40 where it is a large river. Then further North at St. Louis, the river is visibly smaller but still able to support barge traffic. As I was doing my reading the other morning, a thought came into my mind, “Every river has a source.” The Mississippi was the first river that came to mind so I googled it and found out that the Mississippi begins in Clearwater County, Minnesota. It trickles out of Lake Itasca, a small glacial lake no more than 2 miles wide at any point. The river at this point is no bigger than one of our local creeks. Judging by the picture I saw, I would say 20-30 feet wide.

June and I got to see the head waters of the Jordan when we were in Israel. A huge spring gushed from beneath the rocks at the foot of Mount Hermon. The water is about a foot deep and crystal clear. I love the passage in Ezekiel 47 where he describes a River that flows from the foundation of the temple; it begins with a trickle and 150 feet down stream, the river was ankle deep. Another 150 feet down stream, it was knee deep. Another 150 feet down stream it was waist deep. The river is getting deeper and wider as it flows. On his next marking, Ezekiel could not cross the river: too deep and too wide. You see the pattern, rivers start small but grow as they flow. I put my faith in Christ as a nine year old boy and grace began to trickle. At age 15, I rededicated my life to Christ and grace became a tiny stream. At age 17 I made a commitment to be a witness for Christ and grace was ankle deep. At 19 I surrendered my life to preach the gospel and grace was knee deep. In my mid twenties, God revealed my depravity to me and grace became waist deep. Now at age 70, I am in over my head. I am swimming in grace and I cannot touch bottom. My hands ache with arthritis and my back hurts when I work but I would not exchange this deep water [grace experience] for all the youth in the world. You know what is exciting: this river gets deeper and wider all the time and it has no end.

The weather is mild, we keep getting showers of blessings, the corn is growing: hard to ask for more. Speaking of asking for more: Chloe came into my office a couple of days ago, climbed into my lap, put her arms around me and ask, “Would you build me a tree house out back? Do you think it is doable?” I said, “No, it is not doable. I spent days on your play house that you never play in and I am not building a tree house.” Any time Chloe is nice to me, it means one thing–she wants something.

Bill Smith asks to be released from HH and to come home where he could be with his family. I am assuming the doctors could not help him. Bill is a good man. Pray for Bill and his family. Pray for our President.

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