Traveling the River

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I just returned home from a 9 day trip in the Panama jungle. You will probably hear a lot form the Rouse House regarding Panama because this country has a special place in our heart. I often look at life and compare it to our time spent in the jungles. There are many similarities and lessons that can be learned from life and the jungles.
This past time in Panama was the most extreme time that I have ever had. After a 12 hour drive from one end of the country to the other end near the Costa Rican border we finally reached the city of Changuinola. We continued our journey up the Teribe River for almost 2 hours. This area of Panama just received what they call the 50 year flood so passing through this area of the jungle was difficult to say the least. Hundred year old trees were uprooted and washed down stream while entire villages were demolished. The power of this unusual and unpredictable amount of water was almost unbelievable. The worst part of the flood is that it is suppose to be the dry season therefore it really is unexpected.
I remember that the only thing that I could think of as we went farther up river was how content and satisfied I felt. Talk about the peace of God! Philippians 4:6-7 talks about no matter what we face or go through we can always count on God to give us the peace to make it. That kind of peace that He gives is really indescribable. It is one of those things that you have to experience first hand. In life there are so many unexpected and unplanned for “floods” that can really destroy us and wipe us out in just a moment. But we don’t have to live in fear of those things that are to come. Praise God! Nothing is ever unexpected or unplanned for the Almighty!
I have to say that most people including me probably wouldn’t think of contentment when seeing the banks of this river bed. Then I began to think about where I really was and any fear that might have been there vanished. I saw that I was looking at the finger print of God the Creator. I looked up and saw the sun setting behind a mountain and at that moment I believe that the Holy Spirit brought to my mind Psalms 63:3-8. I had just read it before I left home and how cool it was to see God put His word in to practice. I really felt like He had answered my hearts prayer and satisfied my soul abundantly and lead me to praise Him with my lips and hands. I knew that He was absolutely better than life. I knew that I was in the shadow of His wings, His hand was holding me, and that my soul was following close behind Him. That is a great place to be!!!
When Jesus is the focus, priority, and desire of your heart and life then you will always be abundantly satisfied! John Piper says in the book “Stand”, “When we are so satisfied in Christ that we are enabled to willingly die for Him, we are freed to love the lost like never before and Christ becomes our great Treasure” I was not about to die at that moment by any means but with the spirit and mind that He gave me, that of Him being what I live and die for, I was able to love the Nasso people so much more.

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