Encouragement 04-16-04

April 16, 2004
Encouragement for today

Peace Like A River

Luann Prater – Certified Proverbs 31 Speaker and writer


Key Verse: 


For this is what the Lord says: I will extend peace to her like a river,   Isaiah 66:12


The Hebrew word for peace is salom, which means more than the absence of strife; it denotes a satisfied condition, a sense of well being, to be complete.





Peace like a river - a meandering, wandering river.  Like Paul, on his mission trips, never taking a direct route but gently bumping into unexpected curves with purpose.


I flew from Atlanta to Dallas and became mesmerized by the twists and turns, the narrow and wide paths the rivers below carved on their way to the gulf. Try as I might, I could not find one straight river, all were serpentine routes. It occurred to me - that this phenomenon mimics our life.  God never gives us a runway from point A to B, but a scenic journey that touches lives, alters plans and builds character.


After several days of being stranded at home from winter weather, my daughter attempted to drive me to work. On the icy highway the clutch went out on her car.  We sat on the frozen roadside for an hour waiting on a tow truck.  We calmly passed the time, my nose in a briefcase and hers in her homework.  When the truck arrived we climbed in and had the privilege of being in God’s place at God’s time.


His name was Alex.  He was 28 years old and was hurting.  He told us of his beautiful 5 year old daughter and that his wife Rosa had left him two months earlier.  Isn’t it wonderful how God gives us opportunities to shine His light in the midst of our troubles?  He told us how he had prayed and cried for weeks, but it didn’t help.  I softly said, “It’s the only thing that can help.”  When we parted we made a vow to lift him and his wife to the Father in prayer.    


We make our list, and then one by one proudly check off each task, each goal, and each destination.  Throw us a curve and we become frustrated at the lag time, “Come on!” we cry, “Why the slow down?”  God intentionally sends us down the river into blind nooks waiting for our reaction.  Will it be frustration from an interrupted agenda, hostility from being placed in an unfamiliar situation or peace from knowing God not only steers your ship, He controls the river’s flow?



My prayer for today:


Father, grant me your peace as I stroll down life’s pathway.  Teach me to see beauty and purpose in the bends I encounter.  Your ways are not my ways.  Thank you for carving out the perfect landscape for my life.  Amen.



Application steps:


Today, recognize the bumps and the bends in your life as blessings from God.  Acknowledge that His ways are not your ways.  His agenda is not your agenda.  Pray and offer Him control of your ship as you wind through this life.



Reflection Points:


Why is it so hard to give God control of my life?


How can I begin each day totally surrendered to His will and direction?


Who in my world do I need to gently touch with God’s love as I make my way through this day?


Where is God leading that conflicts with my plans?


What can I do today to remind myself that God’s peace transcends any trouble I might face?



Power Verses:


1 Peter 3:11(NIV)  He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. 


Ephesians 2:14 (NIV) For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility


Philippians 4:7 (NIV)  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


John 14:27 (NIV)  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  


Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV) For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.



Additional Resources:


Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed by Lysa TerKeurst



Unleashing the Power of God in My Life by Mary Southerland



Ultimate Makeover by Sharon Jaynes




Originally published Friday, 16 April 2004.