Some scientists made a river in their laboratory by sending water down a sandy incline. They started it straight, but in time it wiggled and turned and snaked like the Mississippi River which meanders and loops with sandbars, deeps and shallows.
It seems that the reason for winding is the power of flowing water to pick up and carry earth material. As a river flows it eats into the banks; a bank caves in and a sandbar is formed downstream. Then the water has to go around the bar. As the current on the outside of the curve speeds up it eats into the river bank on that side. At the same time the water on the inside slows down and deposits its sand load. So the sandbar grows.
Through the years, the original slight detour becomes an exaggerated loop. Coming out of the loop the river turns back to the sea. The same things now happen in reverse. One loop thus causes another and a third and the river wanders on to the sea.
Not only does the river swing back and forth in curves, the curves themselves keep moving, squirming and snaking. Each loop, once formed, moves downstream slowly, so many miles per century. There are other motions of rivers, too, which make it almost a living thing. It squirms, writhes, and thrashes; it never gets comfortable in its channel as it makes its way to the sea.
God has a destination marked out for the believer. God intends to bring the believing child of God to the sea of glass, clear as crystal, in heaven. God also has a pathway by which the believer is to reach this destination where he will be made like God's Son. Often God takes us the long way instead of the short cut. He might allow things we thought were very solid in our lives to break away and become obstacles down the road, obstacles which we must overcome. Sometimes God will change our direction in what seems like midstream. Sometimes He will send us in what seems like a meaningless loop. Ours is not to question why, ours is to keep flowing, moving, toward the sea of glass. The Master knows the way that we take (Job 23:10). He has designs that we cannot see. The stops and starts, the loops, the obstacles channel us and change us and make us to do His will. We must go forward with God, forgetting those things which are behind and pressing forward to those things which are before (Philippians 3:13). We must remember that for every temptation God makes a way of escape; God gives a way to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13). We must know that God's intent is good. We must realize we have not reached the end. We must simply flow on in the direction of God, knowing that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
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