This post was written for Bonnie Gray’s #OneWordLent prompt:
Psalm 1: 1 – 3 (NIV)
Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
In the midst of the darkest time of my life, I was working my way through the Psalms and stood still at the words “streams of water” in Psalm 1. I reflected upon what this stream could signify and the word that I heard fall was: LOVE. “Anna, will you let me love you?”
Now, when I look back to that moment, almost a year ago, I see how God has guided me from a trickling stream to an ever-increasing flow of water: to rivers that have been nourishing and growing Life within me. But in following these rivers downstream, the environment I’ve found myself in has continally changed, each point requiring increasing adaptation, His Love birthing painful, but freeing transformation.
When the first trickles of water entered my heart, He slowed me right down to ingest them carefully, alerting me to the words He wanted me to meditate upon. Each drop both ached and nourished my parched soul, as He convicted, led to confession and washed away the debris. Then, the waters became a stream, washing over me, gently and reassuringly. As I read more and more of His Word, my eyes began to open to the Love He was and had been holding out to me.
And then, suddenly, it was as if the waters receded. I couldn’t find my way. I felt myself groping in the desert, to a past shrouded in fear and grief, a past in which I felt that His rivers had abandoned me. The desert I found myself in felt void of all life, all health, all future, all hope. And then, just as suddenly, the desert gave way to rushing, gushing, flooding rivers – John 6: 35 – 40. In flowed His pursuant, powerful, healing and life-giving Love. And suddenly:
- where there was darkness, Light poured in
- where there was despair, hope grew
- where there was brokenness, healing entered
- where there was fear, peace blanketed
- where there was hurt, comfort held
- where there was death, life broke open.
And in the floodplains of His Love, the parched soil of my heart was enriched with nutrients, ideal for growing food. And as He has slowed me to sit in the desert of the past, He’s opened my eyes more and more to the presence of these rushing rivers and to the life He is growing.
And, slowly, I’m feeling Him leading me stream-upwards to the saturating wetlands, in which He’s filtering out the pollutants and sediments that have crippled and hardened my heart. But, every now and then, He pulls me back to the desert of my past, halting me to receive the flooding rivers of His Love, before leading me stream-upwards again, fixing my eyes ever towards the greatest River of Life:
Revelation 22: 1 – 5 (NIV)
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face,and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.