We’re all in it…from the time we were born. We learn how to navigate the eddy pools, the deeper water, and the shoreline stays. It keeps moving, flowing, pushing toward some unknown destination downstream…maybe the ocean? I don’t know, I haven’t got that far yet.
As we ride the current, others are all around us. Friends, family, strangers, they’re all moving to the pace of the water, much like ourselves. Upon closer inspection, though, there are folks standing on the bank or sitting in the shallows. They’re not moving, at least not fast, and some are completely stationary.
One day, while sailing along, a friend moves from the middle of the stream, where he was successfully riding the strongest current, and quickly floats toward the bank where he gets out and stands. His head is down, and he’s dripping wet from his journey, but now he’s just stopped. I fight the currents and move toward the bank where I stand with him, if but for a moment. I stay as long as I can, as long as I’m able, but the stream…I hear it. I glance back at the water, see everyone moving along, it’s cool, refreshing pace calls to me. The scenery further down the line lures me, and, begrudgingly, I turn to leave. Easing back into the water, I pause and meet eyes with my friend. I encourage him to come along, but he’s somewhat fixed in his position. Slowly, I move further out and soon I feel the tug of current by my feet and legs. I quickly look back…he’s gingerly stepping in as I am swept away again…
Now, after much traveling of the waterways, I have been the one on the bank. I’ve experienced the feeling of being stopped and lacking all desire for the refreshing, flowing water of the stream. I have seen many I love standing on the bank, too. Always, I try to stay, just as long as I can…but, the current calls me back.
Those who had stopped for me, and stood alongside as I remained motionless on the rocks, are the blessings of life! Some, understandably, call from the stream and send well-wishes, but don’t slow down too much. Others fought the flow and crawled out of the water to sit on the bank with me, if just for the hour. Those are important times of encouragement, love, and prayer.
All who slow, at all, to take notice are appreciated by those on the shore!
Ultimately, grief is my work. Moving from the bank, into the edge of the water, and finally back into the stream is the goal of my efforts. Living is my goal! Pursuing God’s purposes for my life is my goal. Today, I am back in the stream. I am a life lived for His good pleasure. The shore is not far from my thinking, and I know people are standing there now, but there is life, life found in the living water – Jesus Christ!
The one who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.”