I remember when I was just a boy; my father would take my friends and I fishing at The Broad River in Western NC.  Dad loved to catch Bass in the local rivers and always had colorful stories about his adventures with his brothers.  It was a boy’s dream.  I remember the first Bass I caught, I was 6 and I thought it was huge.  My heart swelled with pride and love as my Dad praised me and pursued my heart through the catch.  The fathering and attaboys were plentiful.  I remember Dad putting his arms around me to help me reel in the fish.  I felt so much love, safety and encouragement.  

I think I could have done anything in those moments.  One year we were in a very bad drought.  Dad took my brother and I to the river.  The water was way down.  We waded everywhere, hopped rocks and fished the pools.  I remember on this occasion, dad taught me about “reading the river.”  He explained where the Bass liked to hide and ambush food.  He pointed out the different “features” on and in the water: eddies, how the water moves through the deep cuts, downed trees, rocks, submerged grasses etc etc… Like Father God, my father lavished his love on my brother and I.  He loved to love us.  He helped me see, truly “see” the beauty of a river and it’s ecosystem but especially in the way it moves.

These are precious memories for me of my dad.  I learned a lot about adventure, yes, but the biggest lesson learned was about love.  Dad taught me about Father’s heart for me.  Dad was available just like our God is always available.  One time we were walking down the beach while on vacation.  I remember placing my steps in his footprints.  I was little, but I stretched and met his steps.  I remember him stopping and I bumped right into him.  He grabbed me up and loved on me.  I can still feel that embrace today although he’s been gone since 1999.      

If you’ve been alive very long, you have experienced the love of God. You might not be seeking Him, but He is certainly seeking you.  His love pursues you.  He desires you and loves you to pieces.  Like my dad loved me!  He is still coming along beside you and drawing you to Him in love.  Sometimes you bump right into Him.  Sometimes you learn about the depth and intricacy of His love through a river.  You may have a specific occurrence that comes to mind like the ones I illustrated.  You should take some time and write them down.  The truth is, none of us would have a relationship with the Lord or an idea about love if it were not for His active participation in that relationship first.

“By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10)

A few verses later, we see that “We love, because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)

I love watching a river flow.  I can sit for hours watching it move.  God’s uses rivers to pursue me, love me and teach me about his love.  God’s love is alive, like a river flowing and moving.  God is a river of love .  It’s ready for you to enjoy.  What’s holding you up?  Jump into the water today, the water is fine, the water is good and the water is ready to receive you.     

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