SAFE IN THE STREAM
Mary E. Adams
Recently, a good
friend sent me this picture. (I hope all of you are able to see it). It
was taken during the Montana fires this past summer by a firefighter from
Fairbanks, Alaska. It is a frightening scene...as the intense
flames devoured the forest. But right in the forefront we see a stream
of water and two equally frightened deer. They seem to be looking around
them, almost as if to say, "at least we are safe here."
No doubt our two
deer had daily worn a path to that little mountain stream to lap its
waters...but this time it became more than something to satisfy thirst...it
became their salvation.
We all have
experienced such circumstances in our own lives...times when we felt encircled
with things we found difficult to deal with.....some will panic with fear and
run, some will choose to give up. But there are still others who
remember...the path to the stream.
In India, I once
went to visit a very old couple in their modest home. They were living
in Madras, but had originally come from the north. We talked a good while
and shared our faith in Jesus over a cup of tea. Then the old man said
to me, "can I play you a song?" He then picked up a rusting
carpenter's saw and a violin bow. After a few squeaks, he ran the bow
across the edge of that old saw and played with such beauty, "Amazing
Grace". I almost wept with tears, and I noticed there was
moisture in his eyes also... After he finished, he laid the instrument across his knees and began to tell me a story:
My wife and I were among thousands of Indians who were forced to leave
our home during the time of partition. After Ghandi's non-violent
movement, the British had decided to withdraw from the country as rulers. And
there was an instant grab for lands by the Muslims and Hindus. Tens of
thousands of peasants had been forced out of their homes and their possessions
taken. We were left to walk hundreds of miles to the south, with
only what we could carry on our backs.
We had traveled for several days, when we came
to a large river. There was no way to get across...no ferry, no bridge.
We were stranded. And then we saw a large group of men with swords come
swooping down from the hillside...robbers. None of us had weapons.
The people began to panic. But my wife and I and many of our friends
knelt down at the water's edge and began to call upon the Lord.
Suddenly, we heard the cries of the people behind us...but they were not those
terrifying screams of a slaughter...they were cries of victory! We arose
to see the robbers fleeing...and on the ground were all their swords.
God hath faithfully answered our prayers!"
man told me his story: "I was not a Christian. I was a
Hindu...a high caste Brahmin. A very proud man...my profession was as a
newspaper reporter. One day I was on the streets of a large city and I
saw a crowd. So I went to investigate. There was a preacher...a
Christian...and he was telling the story of Jesus and the Cross.
Suddenly, he looked directly at me and said these words, "if you call on
Jesus He will save you!" I was mad...he had singled me out! A
Brahmin! So I left, disgusted and angry at these Christians. How I
wished they would ALL leave India!
several weeks later, I was crossing a river on a barge, late at night.
The only lights were a few kerosene lanterns and the city across the river.
Laden with my briefcase and camera, I was standing, waiting for the barge to
make it to the shore. The river was swift. Suddenly I tripped, and
fell into the swirling water. Immediately the turbulent waves carried me
away from the barge. I struggled to stay afloat, but my clothing was wet
and dragging me down. There was no hope for me. No one there to
help...no chance to do pujis or sacrifices to my gods. I was going to
then, I remembered what that Christian preacher had said to me. "If you
call on Jesus, He will save you!" I did not have any idea what that
really meant...but to me, I was desperate for anything or anyone to help.
So I yelled out, 'JESUS! SAVE ME!' Then suddenly, I looked up
into the dark sky and saw a large scroll opening in the heavens. Then a
large hand came out of it and down to me. It grabbed me by the wrist,
and I began to be dragged back to the barge....against the mighty current,
until I touched the edge of it with my two hands. The people were
astounded to see me, as they helped lift me back to safety. From that
time until this...I have followed Jesus"
he smiled. At the
time he told me this testimony, he had been in the ministry for forty years.
these two stories take place where there are rivers. In Isaiah 35:4 is a
to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God
will come with vengeance,
even God with a recompense; he will come and save you.
the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be
shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the
waters break out, and
streams in the desert..."
Many people do
not live with the knowledge of God's miraculous ways. They do not wear a
pathway to the streams...coming again and again and tasting the Waters of
Life. But there is our refuge, our assurance that He will make a
way...when there seems to be no way. When all around us are fearful
scenes which cause our imaginations to speak death, destruction, and
defeat....remember the stream in the desert. Hurry to it, for God is
there to deliver you!
Having proved it
for myself, my two feet are there now. And I never plan to leave.
DEAR READER: Thank you for
taking the time to read this. If it has ministered hope, encouragement or
insight to you in any way, would you please take the time to send Mary Adams a
quick E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
and share the blessing with her? She would love to hear from you!
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