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Archive for April 14th, 2014

The two opposing rivers of life that lead me home.

Posted by appolus on April 14, 2014

As I was walking tonight, I pondered my place in the river. Now, in Scotland, I grew in the shadow of the mighty River Clyde. It touched all of our lives. We lived by the estuary and it was probably four miles wide and tidal. It was teeming with life, we even saw whales in there every now again. Glasgow, at the head of the river was at one time the second largest city in the British empire and so many ships sailed up and down the river carrying goods to and from every corner of the globe. Almost all of the men of my home town, Greenock, worked in the ship-yards building some of the largest ships in the world. So you can see how this river helped to shape me growing up as it touched every aspect of our lives.raging river

And so in my writing and poetry I relate very well to rivers. Two rivers dominate my life as a Christian and they are polar opposites. One is the river of God and it has always been my goal to be fully abandoned to this river, not just ankle-deep nor knee nor waste but fully immersed in the river that flows from and too God. I have always wanted to be in the very midst of it where the current simply takes me where it will. The other river is the river of life. This I have always struggled with. It has always seemed to me that I am swimming up the river of life. It’s current flows in the opposite direction to my spirit. I think about the salmon. The tremendous journey it undertakes to come back to the point where it all began. The salmon is driven and overcomes every obstacle or dies trying as it returns to the place of its birth.

peaceful riverSo there to me is my dichotomy. In life I swim against the current and it can often times be exhausting and weary. It has been that way all of my life. I wonder if it will ever end but I know the answer. Like the salmon, the journey must be completed. I am driven by a force that draws me home, the hand of God. And yet there is a place in God where there is no effort at all and I am going down river in the current of the Holy Spirit. It is effortless and liberating and is a place of rest. I cannot separate these two rivers, one I feel in the flesh and the other I feel in the spirit. Yet I know this, they both lead me home. And whatever obstacle comes against me in an effort to stop me going further, deeper, closer to the source of life itself will be overcome or I will die in the process and even then I will be home. What comes by nature to the salmon, has come to me by way of the Spirit.

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