Encouragement for Today - July 2, 2009


July 2, 2009



Rachel Olsen


“Everything that touches the water of this river will live.”

Ezekiel 47:9a (NLT)



One Sunday I woke up feeling overwhelmed.  Several projects on my plate were consuming my focus, and closure was eluding me. I’d only been awake a few minutes when my family suggested we go to the beach for an hour or two before church.  What?  Go to the beach before church?  Go get all sandy before church?  You want me to body surf before breakfast?


That’s exactly what we did.


As soon as my toes hit the sand, I knew this was a good idea. Each shifting step toward the glistening water, brought me closer to refreshment.  As I eased into the surf, slightly chilly water rushed over my ankles.  Catching my breath, I pressed forward, breathing deep as the water reached my knees and waves splashed up to my waist. I kept walking until my chest was submerged under the flowing water, and the tension drained from my body and mind. The only thing I could or cared to do was focus on the beauty of God’s creation around me and the nearness of my family. Projects and decisions that had threatened to overtake me, were washed to the backburner of my mind. For the next hour or so, I floated over swells, dove through waves, and surfed on the salty sea foam. I walked out of that water feeling alive again.


A favorite Bible passage of mine is Ezekiel 47 where the prophet experiences a vision of God’s temple. He is shown the Temple by a heavenly host – perhaps an angel, or perhaps even Christ Himself. Out of this Temple, past its altar, flows a stream of water that becomes a massive river. Read for yourself Ezekiel’s experience there:

Then the man brought me back to the entrance of the Temple. There I saw a stream flowing eastward from beneath the Temple threshold. This stream then passed to the right of the altar on its south side. The man brought me outside the wall through the north gateway and led me around to the eastern entrance. There I could see the stream flowing out through the south side of the east gateway. 

Measuring as he went, he led me along the stream for 1,750 feet and told me to go across. At that point the water was up to my ankles. He measured off another 1,750 feet and told me to go across again. This time the water was up to my knees. After another 1,750 feet, it was up to my waist. Then he measured another 1,750 feet, and the river was too deep to cross without swimming. 

He told me to keep in mind what I had seen; then he led me back along the riverbank. Suddenly, to my surprise, many trees were now growing on both sides of the river! Then he said to me, ‘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 47:1-9, NLT)

Are you feeling overwhelmed with problems, projects or decisions today? Are you feeling mentally drained, physically spent, or spiritually numb? Take a dip with me into the river of God, the river of healing, and be awakened to life in God. Let this living water flow over, into, and through you today – for wherever this water flows, everything will live!


Dear Lord, forgive me of my sins and plunge me deep into Your river. This is where I want to be. Cover me, wash me, cleanse me, heal me, and purify me. Make me spiritually alive and in tune with You today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Related Resources:

Do You Know Him?


Stop by Rachel Olsen’s blog


God’s Purpose for Every Woman: A P31 Devotional Gen Eds. Lysa TerKeurst & Rachel Olsen


Application Steps: 

Spend a few minutes in prayer, imagining yourself walking into the river of God. Feel the presence of God wash over you as you turn your heart towards Him and receive cleansing from His living water.


Plan a trip to a local swimming spot and get some exercise as you contemplate living water. Invite a friend to come along, and tell them about the river of God described in Ezekiel 47.



Have I touched this river of life? Everything that touches it will live!


Have I gone beyond sticking my toes in – have I submerged myself in my walk with God?


Power Verses:

Revelation 22:1-2, “And the angel showed me a pure river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb, coursing down the center of main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.” (NLT) 



© 2009 by Rachel Olsen. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105


Originally published Thursday, 02 July 2009.