Writing to help you bump into Jesus.

The River of Life

God, the great artist, has painted my life like a river, from its origin high in the mountains where He pulled us out of the crevices, crashing down rocky walls, winding and meandering through valleys, quiet meadows, over raging waterfalls, across deserts. The river flows sometimes wide and slow, sometimes narrow and rushing, and finally into widening deltas to reach the ocean called eternity. The beauty He created surrounds me with surprises around each bend.

My ancestors, grandparents, and parents bequeathed me a raft to ride this river—the name on the raft is FAITH. Life, like the river, is unknown and God knew I would need a guide to survive and, yes, enjoy the journey. The guide is Jesus who is always at the stern giving direction and assurance that we are following the course. Sometimes I am the only other one in the raft but along the journey are often family, friends, brothers, and sisters in Christ who help pull through the rapids and across the long still lakes. Occasionally, I have fallen out, only to be pulled back in by those companions and by His Grace.

The Holy Spirit hovers over and around, letting me see, touch, and experience the glory of all He has created along the journey: the scenery, the smells, the sounds, the flora, and the fauna. I am never thirsty for as we float along, His living water flows through me quenching thirst and cooling the body when days are warm.

When I do venture out of the raft for a swim, my guide waits patiently so that I may not be separated or swept away by the current. There are miles when the river rages as a Class 4 requiring all to pull together. Yet there are miles when we simply drift in comfort and peace forgetting what turbulence may lie around the bend. There are times when the terrain poses such great risk, like great roaring waterfalls, that portage is necessary. We bear the raft on our shoulders or even more often the raft and I have been carried on the shoulders of my guide.

From infancy to these senior years, what a glorious ride this has been—the river widens for me now into a broad delta with yet new sights and sounds and an ocean ahead whose wonders I can’t begin to imagine. I will bequeath this raft to my grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Flow Gently my friends on your River. Karen Barstow, April 29, 2021

Thank you Melanie for the joy you bring to us, for us, with us in praise, and for reminding me that Life IS a River.

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