O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! Then had thy peace been as a river.... —Isaiah 48:18
My mother and I have not lived near each other for more than twenty years, so when she comes to visit it’s always an occasion. I’ve found, though, that as she grows older, it gets harder to say goodbye. Maybe deep down I’m wondering if we’re seeing each other for the last time.
This year she visited me for her eighty-first birthday. Her health is good, and we enjoyed many activities together. But when it came time once again for the airport farewell, I held on to her so long that she finally said, “You have to let me go.”
And that’s when I recalled the biblical imagery of “peace like a river.” I used to wonder why God compared peace to a river because I’ve seen some very turbulent ones. Then one day I really studied a river and saw how peace and river connect. The river might cut new channels, it might twist and turn, but it keeps moving ahead. Its peace comes from that forward flow.
Mom had her life to live, her friends waiting, her service for God in her small north Idaho community. I had the same in Minnesota. Our forward courses were diverging, yes, but I could be thankful for the days they had intersected.
I drove home from the airport that day, not looking back in sadness and tears and wanting to reclaim what was behind. Instead, I felt carried forward on a current of peace that was taking me exactly where God wanted me to go.
Father, help me flow freely forward, moving in Your current of peace.