But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Colossians 3:8-10
We recently visited McGregor, Iowa, a charming Mississippi River town. On a river boat tour, listened to the captain enlightened us about this great natural resource . He called the waterway “a braided rope:” the river and its tributaries, backwaters, and estuaries feed and sustain each other. Water flows down the river, filling the backwaters, while streams and other rivers flow into the larger Mississippi in a perfect relationship, continuous for thousands of years. After we returned, I happened to read about the Solimoes and Negro Rivers in Brazil, which meet to form the mighty Amazon. But the waters of the two rivers look completely different and do not “blend” into one river for quite some distance.
All of this reminded me about our relationship with God. In Colossians, Paul tells us to take off our “old self” and “put on the new self,” in the “image of its Creator.” I was struck by how much like these rivers we are in our imperfect quest to be “Christ-like.” We may ride the current along with God’s program, trying our level best to follow His precepts and live as He would have us live. But it is a give-and-take proposition, a “blending” of our inadequate efforts with the wonderful, never-ending flow of God’s love. His mercies flood our lives, feeding us endlessly. He rejoices when we sometimes get it right. God delights when we show that we are getting closer—more “Christ-like”—and He pours more of His marvelous grace upon us. Most importantly, it is because God first loved us (1 John 4:19) that we are able to be in this relationship with Him. He doesn’t ask us to enter “the river of life” as perfect human beings. He invites us, flaws and all, to join Him in the divine gift of grace, “pressed down, shaken together and running over” l(Luke 6:38). This is “walking wet,” in the waters of baptism in God’s great river!
Praise You, Living Water, for Your unfathomable grace and mercy! Amen
Meg Blaine Corrigan is the author of three books: Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child; Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist; and Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of New Mexico and has over thirty years’ experience working with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and war veterans, and other trauma survivors. Her books may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .