Peace like a river
For thus says the LORD, “Behold, I extend peace to her like a river…”
When I went to college in Tennessee, one of my favorite things to do was to go up to the river with my friends. We would put on our swimsuits and take off our shoes and walk all over and even slide down the big rocks that the river had smoothed over.
There aren’t too many rocky places where you can walk barefoot without being injured. It’s dangerous. The rocks are sharp. It’s hard, it’s irritating, and you can’t run like you could on a smooth surface. But there’s something different about the rocky places that the river runs through. The same rocky place that was such torture to travel through becomes full of stepping-stones. That ground that hindered your walk becomes transformed into something you can now venture through with stride. That’s what the river does.
In the book of Isaiah, the word compares the peace of God to a river. What a beautiful picture of what this peace does to the rocky places in our lives. Sometimes life causes us to go into places that are rough. Even the will of God can require us to walk into situations that are difficult and potentially painful. Often the paths we take aren’t easy. They’re tough. The troublesome seasons, the scary seasons, the hostile environment, the stressful workplace, recovering from addictions, death, illness, finances, divorce, wayward children. We walk through things that could tear us up. These are the places where the peace of God is so irreplaceable in our lives. It allows us to continue on the course that we’ve begun. With the peace of God, these places lose their ability to trip you up and slow you down. The things that would prevent you from moving further due their threatening conditions can now be walked upon thanks to the river of peace. Yes, they are still rocky places, but they are rocky with a river!
The good news is this… This peace like a river is available to us as believers. Jesus said, “Peace I give to you. Not as the world gives.” He’s still giving it today. As a matter of fact, the moment you entered the family of God it was deposited into your very being. Galatians tells us it’s a product of the Holy Spirit. Grasp onto it today. Keep your mind on Him. Talk to Him and tell him what you need with a thankful heart. Ask God for His peace to smooth over the path in front of you through a divine internal, unexplainable tranquility that comes though your faith in His love for you.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.