What's So Peaceful About a River?
What is peace, really? Some would argue it is the assurance we feel over our lives. But if Christ came to give us peace in that sense, why do we fear for our lives, health, finances and security?
I like that the writer of the hymn "Peace Like a River" used that word to describe the peace we have in Christ. I mean, what's peaceful about rivers? This isn't a creek trickling through the ravine in our backyard. Imagine rafting through the Colorado as it cuts through the Grand Canyon or remember the Mississippi and all the lives that she's claimed. These are unpredictable waters that can destroy homes with floods and take lives with their undercurrents; there is nothing peaceful about them.
So why would the writer use such an ironic metaphor? Maybe the writer understood that this life and this walk with Christ would be filled with painful, unpredictable and sometimes crushing experiences and maybe it is in this truth that they wrote those words.
I do not think that Jesus came to give us peace in the world's terms. No, instead I think Jesus came to give us something totally different; an inward peace – a hope in a promise of restoration. And that is something to sing about.
This devotion is adapted from an article on RELEVANTmagazine.com.
Talk About It
Think of the times you have been most aware of the power of peace. Was it in good or tough times?