One of the favourite places to take our grandchildren is their local wood, especially in autumn when it’s like a wonderland of falling golden leaves. A river runs through the middle. - well, it’s more like a fast-flowing stream at this stage - and is crossed by an old wooden bridge.
Last time we were there, we played Pooh sticks. As we each carefully chose a twig, I watched as our grandson clutched the heaviest stick he could find. Just like a boy! At the count of three we dropped them in the centre of the stream and raced to the other side of the bridge to see whose would emerge first. Then cheered them on as they were carried downstream, bobbing up and down in the ripples. I rejoiced as mine reached the bend first and disappeared into the wide blue yonder. But our grandson cried as his soggy branch lurched into the side and stuck in the reeds. Of course, we played this again, and again!
Are we in the River, God’s River of Blessing as described in Ezekiel 47? If we long to be in the River, we have to let go of all we are holding onto. We need to be empty handed. It’s no good hanging onto the edge of the bridge with our finger nails. We have to let go in complete surrender and abandonment. We may feel we are going to die - and in a way we do! - but we always land in Jesus’s arms and move along in the gentle current of His blessing.
Even if we hit turbulence or the river widens into deep threatening waters, despite our fears, we are still carried along in absolute safety and provision as we cling to Him. If for some reason we become waterlogged and drift into stagnant water, the way back is just the same. We give Him our heavy load and in surrender and trust we are once more back in the flow.
“He said to me, "Mortal man, note all this carefully." Then the man took me back to the riverbank - Wherever the stream flows - it will bring life.” Ezekiel 47:6-9 Good News BibleI have quoted from these few verses, but really Ezekiel 47 needs to be read in its entirety
The image above is not 'our' bridge but the "Pooh Sticks Bridge, Ashdown Forest” Â© Copyright David Brooker and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence. Geograph Project, UK. which see.