For thus says the LORD:

Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river,

   and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream;

and you shall nurse, you shall be carried upon her hip,

   and bounced upon her knees.

Isaiah 66: 12

In all probability, most of us have certain images that come to mind when we hear about rivers. These large flows of water might be large, lazy and calm. They may be wild and running freely over rocks and fallen trees as they course down a mountainside, or they could be destructive and dangerous. Rivers come in many forms, and those shapes and consistencies are changeable due to various circumstances, too. Yet, Isaiah suggests that the peace that the Lord grants to His people comes to us in a flow like that of a river. There may be more truth to that image than we often imagine at first glance. The peace that the Lord grants to us comes in many forms in order to fit to the circumstances with which life has surrounded us; so, should it surprise us when God answers our need with something that flows out of the enormity of His resources?

There are days when it seems as if there cannot possibly be an answer for all that is present in life. Grief and sorrow, pressure and stress, and pain and heartache often arrive in bunches and settle in as an encamped army that lays siege to the heart, mind, and soul. When life is like this it can be easy to lose sight of God’s eternal promises and it is only natural to focus inwardly on what it takes to make it from this moment to the next. Yet, the Lord is present even in these hard and darkening hours. His truth will prevail against all that is going wrong around us, and His strength is great enough to take each of us beyond the hour of despair to that new dawn of hope that will come in its due time. 

The peace that the Lord grants to us does not come in one shape, form, or size. It varies according to our individual needs, the situation that is at hand, and the way that it will work within our hearts and heads so that we can go on to accomplish God’s will as we dwell in its presence. God’s peace nurtures as it heals. It provides what is essential for us to become stronger and better equipped to handle the adversity of the day. Additionally, this form of peace provides a type of comfort that is much like what a nursing mother gives to her crying infant. A deep and a settled calm comes over the spirit in the presence of the Lord. So, regardless of the image that rivers bring to mind, the peace that flows out of a relationship with the Lord resembles it. As rivers run throughout the landscape of the earth, so does God’s peace meet each of us wherever we may journey in the course of life.