“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” -Revelation 22:1-2 ESV
I woke up at my campsite to the sound of the water. The Northern woods of Maine were quiet and still in the hours before the sun rose above the trees, and the sound of the Penobscot river flowing past me as I enjoyed my coffee restored something in my soul that I had been ignoring. The more time I spend near rivers like that one, the more I understand eternal things.
In the beginning God set the headwaters of four rivers to flow from Eden. The Pishon, Gihon, Tigris and Euphrates rivers flowed out and divided the lands of Havilah, Cush, and Assyria. God revealed to John at Patmos that in the fullness of time, another river would flow from Jesus throne, through a perfect city, watering the tree of life and fulfilling all that was promised. When I sit by rivers I think of the promise of that life flowing…that future restoration…and my soul finds rest.
The world we live in is a discordant and noisy place. We are bombarded relentlessly by the machines of war and industry, by human progress and human suffering. We can get lost in a maze of futile wandering if we don’t remember to return to the gentle flow of the river, and know that we will one day look on the throne of glory from which it comes.
Daily Battle Order:
Prioritize your escape to nature. It might not seem like it if you live in a city, but God’s creation and nature are never that far away. The peace of listening to the sound of running water and breathing fresh air, even for an afternoon will restore you for the battles you face. The river will point you to the throne. It will remind you that you are not made to exist in this world for long, and to fight for the eternal things and ignore the noise.