by Parris Bailey

“But there the glorious LORD will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby. For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.” Is. 33:21

Frank and I did something rather out of the ordinary, we bought three acres of property on the Boque Falaya River in Covington. It happened suddenly and to our surprise our family celebrated Christmas with us surrounded by trees, playing in the river, climbing a tree house and swinging from a rope swing. The clear nights seeing the stars have caught me by surprise along with the singing birds of many kinds, varied wildlife and the many types of aged trees. The previous owner planted over 20 different variety’s of bamboo so it has a bit of a oriental feel to top it off. The wood beamed cathedral ceiling with it’s burning wood stove reminds me of the many winters we would be up in Gatlinburg near my mother. New Year’s Day when all the family went their ways, I was determined to “take a walk” in the river despite the rain. I had foreseen this moment and had bought “hip boots” for this very purpose. The little Boque Falaya is shallow here and clear which makes for perfect walking. The only way to get down to the river is by rope so I began the trek down into the river and walked along downstream where you see nothing but woods for hundreds of yards on both sides of the river. It took awhile for my mind to settle itself after the events of the holidays. Like most of us, nothing is ever just perfect with our families or church families. The more I walked down the stream the more I was becoming just another part of his beautiful creation. This was harmony and He was there orchestrating all things for His glory. Oh yes, there is a river “the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God.” Ps.46:4 “The presence and power of God are sufficient at any time to make up to us the deficiencies of the creature and of its strength and beauty. We have all in God, all we need or can desire. Many external advantages Jerusalem has not which other places have, but in God there is more than an equivalent. If God himself be the river, it must needs be inaccessible to the enemy; they can neither find nor force their way in.” (Matthew Henry) Charles Spurgeon must have been walking on the Boque Falaya for he writes: “This is no boisterous ocean, but a placid stream, it is not stayed in its course by earthquakes or crumbling mountains, it follows its serene course without disturbance. Happy are they who know from their own experience that there is such a river of God. The streams whereof in their various influences, for they are many, shall make glad the city of God, by assuring the citizens that Zion’s Lord will unfailingly supply all their needs. The streams are not transient like Cherith, nor muddy like the Nile, nor furious like Kishon, nor treacherous like Job’s deceitful brooks, neither are their waters “naught” like those of Jericho, they are clear, cool, fresh, abundant, and gladdening.” Go ahead and get those “hip boots” on!