(oddness is just an experience we have, before we realize that it's God getting our attention...)
So, this morning, I wake up with an odd little song in my head. This has happened before, of course, and sometimes it's an annoying thing, such as when "It's a Small World" or the "Barney Song" ("I love you, you love me, we're a happy family...") is stuck, and won't get out.
This morning, I heard:
I've got a river of life, flowing out of me,
Makes the lame to walk and the blind to see;
Opens prison doors, sets the captives free,
I've got a river of life, flowing out of me.
Spring up, O well, within my soul;
Spring up, O well, and make me whole;
Spring up, O well, and give to me
That life abundantly.
Now, we used to sing that song, over and over, ad nauseam (as is the penchant in Christian gatherings -- as if we have to work ourselves up into an emotional/mesmerized frenzy so as to *make* God show up and *do* something, but I digress).
Got to admit, I never really looked at the lyrics before...
God-incidentally, I was reading this morning, and the book I'm reading suggested that I check out the first portion of Ezekiel 47, about the River of Life ... got my attention!
Here's what it says:
1The man took me back to the temple, where I saw a stream flowing from under the entrance. It began in the south part of the temple, where it ran past the altar and continued east through the courtyard.
This is the same river spoken of in the book of Revelation ... (& Revelation is all about making the transition from the old covenant/mindset, into the new covenant/mindset).
2We walked out of the temple area through the north gate and went around to the east gate. I saw the small stream of water flowing east from the south side of the gate.
3The man walked east, then took out his measuring stick and measured five hundred sixty yards downstream.
Or, one thousand cubits ... thousand is metaphorical language for "divine completeness".
He told me to wade through the stream there, and the water came up to my ankles. 4Then he measured another five hundred sixty yards downstream, and told me to wade through it there. The water came up to my knees. Another five hundred sixty yards downstream the water came up to my waist. 5Another five hundred sixty yards downstream, the stream had become a river that could be crossed only by swimming. 6The man said, "Ezekiel, son of man, pay attention to what you've seen."
You and I, sons of man (Sons of God) are to pay attention to this as well ... what does it mean, for us? We're told to wade in the stream ... the River of Life ... the very flow of the Presence of God (that which holds all things together, is in all things, IS all things). We're to become aware of this River, to experience this River ... to go INTO it. The more we go into it, the more we experience it ... the more it overcomes us, until we are submerged (baptized?), and caught up in the Flow of the River of Life ... but it is not outside of us, it does not come upon us ... it flows OUT of us, for it is indeed our very life...!
We walked to the riverbank, 7where I saw dozens of trees on each side. 8The man said:
This water flows eastward to the Jordan River valley and empties into the Dead Sea, where it turns the salt water into fresh water. 9Wherever this water flows, there will be all kinds of animals and fish, because it will bring life and fresh water to the Dead Sea. 10From En-Gedi to Eneglaim, people will fish in the sea and dry their nets along the coast. There will be as many kinds of fish in the Dead Sea as there are in the Mediterranean Sea. 11But the marshes along the shore will remain salty, so that people can use the salt from them.
This echoes the passage from Revelation ... the River of Life flows to all, bringing healing/wholeness (awareness) to all it touches ... they are urged to drink. For those who refuse, they are living in the Dead Sea, where there appears to be no life. They are "salted" ... salt is a preservative, and we're told that we are "all salted by fire" ... fire being a purifier, burning off that which blinds us. Salt also, I notice, makes us thirsty ... so that we are then drawn to the River of Life, to drink, to receive the Living Water, which makes us whole, ALIVE...! It has always been there, within us, only if we don't see it, if we are veiled by the lies we believe, then we won't experience it. And YET, God is drawing all men to Himself, and the Spirit is leading us into all truth, and God uses even those things which seem to be harming us, to lure us to Himself, within, our true natures, so that we can live His Life... which is our life.
12Fruit trees will grow all along this river and produce fresh fruit every month. The leaves will never dry out, because they will always have water from the stream that flows from the temple, and they will be used for healing people.
This speaks of God's non-ending, non-lacking, ever-present provision for us ... we only experience lack if we believe more in lack than in His provision. I recall the verse in Revelation, "and the leaves of the tree shall be for the healing of the nations" ... healing is our inevitable inheritance ... we will come to our senses, He is drawing us ... we cannot, and shall not, thwart the very purpose for which we were made ... to live the Life of God.
As our minds are healed, as the lies we believe are replaced with His truth, as our souls are aligned with His Spirit, then so too do our bodies manifest the wholeness of God Himself. The Abundant Life is for us to live ... as we submerge in the River of Life, as it flows through us ... unclogged and unblocked from the vain imaginings that we gave way to, when we didn't know better.
Now, we know better.