LIVING BY THE RIVER
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
Man has always lived by rivers, the river has been part of civilization from the dawn of time. Rivers have been always intertwined with all that we do. While attending Bible School in the seventies, Parris and I were part of several reforestation teams that planted trees in the mountains of Oregon and Washington to support ourselves. We lived in tents and always made our camp by a river. We had some amazing experiences with rivers during that season of our life. I remember floods, washed out roads and bridges, water baptisms, schooling fish (yum), spring like drinking water, several bouts with polluted water (gross), cold baths, and always the incredible beauty of those rivers rushing through the mountains. There was nothing like coming out of your tent in the morning to the sounds and smells of the river.
Our Bible School was located in the San Joaquin Valley, actually a desert when not irrigated. We lived a few miles from the San Joaquin River where we would often go for a cool refreshing swim. On both sides of that river there would be lush, natural growth. There was green grass and a thick corridor of trees contrasting with the dusty, brown terrain that surrounded it for miles. What a beautiful picture of the Christian who makes the River his dwelling place. Like Jeremiah said, “he is like a tree planted by the waters, and spreads out his roots by the river”. This man will be fruitful when the rest of the world is experiencing drought.
We live in a city, New Orleans, that grew up around a river. Of course without the Mississippi River there would be no New Orleans. It has been the source of life for this city for over three hundred years. This is a picture of man’s need for the River of God in his life. The River of God is the person of the Holy Spirit, flowing throughout the world today, revealing Himself to all that thirst for His waters. Without the River of the Holy Spirit, all we have ia a form of religion. The River is what makes our lives unique. In His presence we find drink, food, cleansing, refreshing, transportation, power, and a brand new life. Where do you make your home? Are you living in the brown, dusty valley of the world or have you made your home by the River? Learn the lesson from an old tree planter, pitch your tent by the River.