Friday, December 12, 2014

River of Life

"This river flows east through the desert into the Jordan Valley, where it enters the Dead Sea.  The waters of this stream will heal the salty waters of the Dead Sea and make them fresh and pure.  Everything that touches the water of this river will live.  Fish will abound in the Dead Sea, for its waters will be healed.  Wherever this water flows, everything will live." Ezekiel 47:8-9
These verses are describing a river that flows out of the Temple of God.  It started out as just a small stream, but it grew into a river that was so deep, you had to swim to cross it.  You have probably heard that the Dead Sea is so salty that nothing can live in it. Yet these verses tell us that the waters of the river coming from the Temple will heal the salty waters of the Dead Sea, making them fresh and pure so that the sea can support life.  I love this prophetic word because of the hope that it offers to us too.  This is a picture of the life-giving, transforming power of God in our lives.  He desires to bring healing and freedom to every place in us that is dead. 
I also love that this river flowed through a desert and into a valley and then entered the Dead Sea.  Deserts and valleys are analogies for the low, hard places in our lives. Did you know that the shores of the Dead Sea are about 1,300 feet below sea level, marking it the lowest land surface on Earth? So these verses speak of God's grace flowing right into the lowest, hardest, and darkest places in our lives; even to those places that are so buried and hidden away that no one else knows about.  He sees them and He comes.  He comes right into our broken, life-less, messed-up, and shame-filled places and He brings His life, freedom, and healing.  There is no place in our lives that His love and power cannot reach down into and heal.  
Maybe it starts out as just a small stream of hope, a little bit of His glory breaking through the clouds of darkness that hover over us, but His power is strong in our weaknesses and His glory rises on us like the sun rises over the earth, and in time, the little stream becomes a deep river of life that flows freely into and through our lives.  And this river reaches our deepest, deadest places and begins to heal and transform them into places that are alive and pure and even life-giving to those around us.

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