Creation through the eyes of Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel
God’s Thoughts to me
A river watered the garden and then flowed out of Eden and divided into four branches. The first branch, called the Pishon, flowed around the entire land of Havilah, where gold is found. The gold of that land is exceptionally pure; aromatic resin and onyx stone are also found there. (Genesis 2:10-12, NLT)
Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. (Revelation 22:1, NLT)
A Song of Love
Special Assignment, an investigative current affairs program on a South African television channel, broadcasted a disturbing story of Megan Adams and Alecia (a pseudonym). They are two teenage girls living on the streets of a township near Cape Town, the Cape Flats. These precious girls are addicted to crystal methamphetamine, locally better known as Tik.
This crystalline substance has become the city’s drug of choice, being cheap and widely available. In most cases Tik is smoked in a glass pipe. The girls sell their bodies into prostitution to feed the cruel monster that is consuming and destroying their lives. They are only two of the hundreds of addicts and have been brave enough to tell their stories of growing up in extreme poverty and subsequent falling into drug abuse. Many of these girls are just continuing on this wicked road of destruction.
Looking at the world-wide problem of drug abuse only confirms the reality of John’s words, “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” (1 John 5:19, ESV). He only comes to steal, to kill and destroy everything and anything he can possibly lay his hands on.
After watching this broadcast, my heart hurried back to our Pappa God to tell Him of their terrible suffering, asking our Lord Jesus to rescue them from the Kingdom of Darkness. I begged Him to break down all those fortresses of lies in their minds that are holding them captive. I nearly suffocated in a cloud of sorrow when I thought of the total mess and destruction the human race, the crown of our Father’s creation, brought to the beautiful world our Pappa created and prepared in the beginning for their enjoyment and sustenance. The words our God spoke through the prophet Isaiah, suddenly had a much more and deeper meaning to me, “Lift up your eyes to the heavens and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens vanish like smoke, and the earth will wear out like a garment, and they who dwell in it will die in like manner, but my salvation will be forever. And my righteousness will not wane.” (Isaiah 51:6, ESV). Yet, because of love, God provided a way out of this darkness through the cross of our lord Jesus.
I sighed contentedly as my heart gratefully followed our Lord back to Eden and sensed a love story being told by the river in the garden which divided into four branches. To my delight I found this river flowing all through the Scriptures, the river of life, providing the eternal life of our Lord Jesus. Because of our Pappa’s keen eye for even the smallest detail (like the number of hairs on my head), I realized that the names of the four river branches was not randomly chosen, but for a specific reason and asked Him to reveal to me this chapter of the Divine Story of Love.
Picture of mosaic representing Pishon from Church of Theodorias ca 539CE
The name of the first river branch, Pishon, means bursting forth; fast and strong flowing. I am humbled by the strength and force of the life of our Lord Jesus, bursting forth into the wasteland of our hearts after the Holy Spirit has planted that first little mustard seed of eternal life. The river Pishon surrounded the Land of Havilah, a land noted for its gold, bdellium (aromatic resin) and onyx.The name Havilah literally means circular. The gold was of the finest quality and indicative of the purity, the acceptance and security of our God’s love encircling and protecting that exquisitive relationship between our King and us. I am reminded of the golden censer filled with incense and the prayers of the saints, “And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and He was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne.” (Revelation 8:3, ESV)
Bdellium, a tree resin, is an aromatic tree gum like myrrh containing essential, aromatic oils and is largely used for therapeutic purposes, perfumes and incense. This land of Havilah, the Eden of our hearts, is beautifully described by the Lover of our souls, “You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared.” (Ezekiel 28:13, NIV). It reminds me of our prayers being a sweet smelling sacrifice that brings so much joy to our Pappa’s heart. I love spending time with my sons and, to their chagrin, I always want to know everything about everything that happens in their lives! Our Heavenly Father, being the Father of all fathers, surely longs for His children spending time with Him, trusting Him enough to talk to Him about anything!
The onyx is a gemstone and was widely used in jewelry, ornaments and carvings since antiquity. In the book of Exodus our Lord instructed the Israelites to use onyx stone in the tabernacle and the garments of the priests. The breastplate of an Old Testament High Priest contained twelve gemstones, representing the twelve sons of Jacob. The eleventh stone had to be an onyx, representing Josef. To me it symbolizes the abundant life of our Lord Jesus, delicious fruit of the Spirit and inner strength that would be added unto us and abundantly increased daily according to our need (Josef means, God will increase/ adding on). Since our Lord Jesus is our only High Priest in heaven, taking us all, in Him, to our Pappa’s throne of Grace, we can rejoice in the fact that we are all little gemstones in His breastplate of Righteousness. He carries us so close to His heart that we can hear the heartbeat of His love. Even the world considers the onyx stone a symbol of “spiritual” strength and protection, peace and confidence.
Breastplate of a High Priest
Dear Ones, as Fibromites we are all acquainted with fibrofog! Clear thinking does not come easily to us, even less to me since my husband firmly believes that I was born with my head in the clouds anyway! Nevertheless, I hope and pray that by now you can perceive, if only a little, the treasure of love our Lord has hidden for us curious ones to seek and find in the garden of our hearts.
In a following post I would love to continue on this expedition, seeking all the wonders buried deep in the ancient soil of Eden, and its rivers, waiting patiently to be discovered and enjoyed by our Pappa’s children. I am so grateful to be able to share that beautiful River Song bubbling up in my heart, singing of my love for my God, praising His goodness and glory.
I want to love you and leave you with the following: suffering causes only one of two things; it either breaks you or creates a passionate love for God in the depths of your heart!
Hugs and blessings