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Thankfulness Project: Rivers

I'm a daughter, granddaughter & niece of pastors. I love God & studying the Bible and want to empower others to do the same.


I will open rivers on the bare heights

And springs in the midst of the valleys;

I will make the wilderness a pool of water

And the dry land fountains of water. -Isaiah 41:18

“Behold, I will do something new,

Now it will spring forth;

Will you not be aware of it?

I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,

Rivers in the desert. -Isaiah 43:19

There’s something exciting, bubbling, energetic about rivers. They’re steady, even when they’ve slimmed from a lack of rain. They slowly wear down hard rocks and stones and smooth them into something pleasant to touch, to hold. How like the Holy Spirit in us. Rivers are full of metaphor and music to me. I love their unique voices, how even if they are rerouted, they cannot be stopped; they find a way. If they are pooled up in a dam, they can overflow, because they must continue on. They must. There is no permanently stopping these flows of water. And some are powerful, while others are thin trickling streams, yet all have the ability to wear down rock and land, to carry away debris, to wipe things clean. They bubble and gurgle and pop and spit with excited energy, eager to get where they are going, looking forward to the adventure, the journey. Happy to be called, to go. Is this not how we should be about the grand commission the Father has given us? They say that the negative ions released by running water in a waterfall or the ocean or a river is exceedingly beneficial to our minds and bodies. They release tension, soothe stress, ease our minds, regulate and open our breathing, and bring us peace. I love also that rivers remind us we are small, our problems are small, and these rivers are larger and were before us and will be long after us. And God, the maker of it all, He is eternal. He holds the universe in His hands. How much more He holds us. And creates beautiful wonders of His love, reminders of his bigness and provision and sovereignty and beauty and patience.

And rivers are such a reminder of how things are cleaned, the dirt worn off and carried away, smoothing stones beneath. The hardest rock under a running river will eventually be smoothed, some into perfect skipping stones. Again, this is us. Under God’s patient molding, the trials He allows and the things He opens our eyes to see about ourselves that make us uncomfortable enough to desire and seek change, He smooths our rough edges into something more like Him.


If you’ve ever taken your shoes off and put your feet in the cool water of a river on a hot day, then you know how refreshing and delightful it is. Or if you’re like me, you even enjoy finding a patch of mud in the river and squidging your toes down into it. There’s something so relaxing about bare feet in a cool river on a hot day, so refreshing and reinvigorating. It’s peaceful and encouraging, much like spending time in the Bible and God speaking some encouragement you desperately needed and filling you with hope again. A river hid, saved, and guided Moses from his biological Hebrew mother’s home to the home of Pharaoh, the same river that God would later use Moses to turn to blood in order to save His people from Pharoah. The flood waters of the river Jordan receded for the ark of the covenant and those carrying it in the book of Joshua. Rivers obey the directions of our great God, and are bubbling with eagerness to do so. Rivers are a place of refreshment, and a beautiful metaphor that represents many lessons in life and reflections of what God can do for and through us.


Rivers are powerful networks, links. They can generate electricity and they powered many towns for many years. Rivers also connect mountains to valleys, the highest places and the lowest. Jesus also connects, and uses for His purposes both the highest and the lowliest, and He connected the mountain of heaven to a small, unnoticed town in Israel. He bridges the gap between all people, no matter what separates them. He makes us all equal, all His, all clean in the eyes of the Father, once we receive His salvation, when we accept His Lordship. And He connects all of us sinners to the righteous, perfect Father on the highest mountain of Zion, of heaven, by the river of blood he shed on a cross, that streamed down a mountain called Calvary to cover each one of us who wait at His feet, asking for salvation. We are redeemed and healed and freed, washed clean by the river of Jesus, who releases us into new, whole lives with His Living Water, the Holy Spirit, an abundant river that never runs dry, like the Father’s faithful love for us.

“He will be like a tree planted by the water: it sends its roots out toward a stream; it doesn’t fear when heat comes, and its foliage remains green. It does not worry in a year of drought, or cease producing fruit.” -Jeremiah 17:8

For further reading: Genesis 2:4-14, Exodus 2, Joshua 3.


© 2021 Amanda Lorenzo

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