Peace Like a River

This was a devotion I had written for Laced With Grace. If you didn't get a chance to stop over to read it, I am posting it today. Blessings!
I am not a stranger to the danger of the River.

When I was a baby, my father and 13 year old brother were swept away and killed in the Vermilion River while on a fishing trip. They were strong swimmers and familiar with the river, but were no match against its powerful currents.

But, watching first hand the devastation of the mighty Cedar River this week in Cedar Rapids, I am again overwhelmed by the river's power and magnitude. They have a saying here in Iowa, "The river goes where the river wants to go." This week, the river wanted to go through the downtown area of Cedar Rapids, the Czech village, neighborhoods, businesses, and schools, wiping out all that was in its path, flooding 1,200 city blocks and displacing 26,000 people from their homes. It leaves residents here confused, saddened, exhausted, and angry.

The catastrophic flooding here reminded me of Isaiah 66:12.

"For this is what the LORD says:

"I will extend peace to her (God's people) like a RIVER, and the
wealth of nations like a flooding stream..."

I can understand the part of the verse of God's overflowing, "flooding" blessing, but peace like a river? My experience this week has been a river being anything but peaceful. What does God mean in this verse?

The river "had a mind of its own."
Driving in all different areas and seeing the turns the river took, sometimes no "rhyme or reason", I definitely agreed that "the river goes where the river wants to go." Sandbags didn't stop it. People couldn't stop it. Cars, trucks, trains, or buildings couldn't stop it. It went where it wanted to go.
God's peace is like that.
He gives us "peace like a river."
People can't stop His peace.
Circumstances can't stop His peace.
Worry, doubt, frustration, fear can't stop His peace.
Flooding can't stop His peace.
Cancer can't stop His peace.
Bankruptcy can't stop His peace.
His peace is like a river.
His is the "peace that passes all understanding." Human understanding or reasoning can't understand or explain this peace. It is a peace, that logically, we shouldn't have. According to reason, according to what we can SEE, according to the "world", it doesn't make sense for us to possess this peace.
"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is staid on
You, because he trusts in You."- Isaiah 26:3.
Lord, I know that when my mind is "staid on You," set on You, seeking You, trusting You, no matter what, THEN, I am filled with Your perfect peace. Jesus tells us that He gives us peace that the world can not give us. The peace that comes from a relationship with Jesus is not dependent on what is happening at the time. "Peace" is a fruit of the spirit.
When we know Jesus, we are filled with His peace, and when we trust in Him through the trials of life, His peace rules our minds and emotions. I pray today that you will trust in Him, no matter what is going on in your life. Turn to Him in the hard times, the unsure times, the trials that you face. And, Jesus promises that He will give us His peace.

Father, I pray that I will always seek You for peace. Thank You for Your comfort and Your peace that NOTHING can stop. Help me to remember that You are the Prince of Peace and You desire to cover me with Your peace that passes all understanding. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.

2 thoughts shared....:

Edie said...

I do love your insight Tracy. You give me a perspective I wouldn't have considered whenever I read your posts. I pray that God will speak Peace to your heart today. Blessings -

Susan said...

Wow, this was incredible!!

I was so sad however to read about your father and brother...

My hubby is up there now working at a refinery, help getting things up and running again.

Small world.

Blessings to you Tracy♥