Shall We Gather at the River?

Plannig a mission trip takes weeks of preparation. My sweet friend, Nan Jones, kindly accepted my invitation to post on my blog this week. Thank you, Nan, for blessing me with the much needed time and blessing my readers with your words of encoragement.

Shall We Gather at the River?
by Nan Jones

Photo by Sally Matheny
he mountain air gave us goosebumps. It was chilly for the first day of June. Overcast skies and occasional mist decided an even chillier river. As the water tumbled over river rock and brushed against grassy banks, the chill couldn't dampen the hearts of the people gathered for the baptism.
 Tom* was nearing the end of his life. It had been a hard life - one that he tried to erase with alcohol, but to no avail. He'd always had a good heart. Tom was a good man, but when my husband asked him if he knew he would awake in heaven when death came, Tom answered no. A debilitating stroke a few months earlier had given him pause. These were things he had been considering. He knew about Jesus. He believed Jesus was the Son of God, but Tom had never asked Jesus to be his Savior. There had never been a personal relationship with Almighty God.

Tom prayed with my husband. With glistening eyes He acknowledged his need for a Savior and entered the family of God. Tom has been faithful since that day.

On Sunday afternoon the people of God gathered at the river. Two men assisted Tom on the gently sloping bank. His steps are disjointed because of the stroke. His balance is impeded. Tom faced enormous amounts of fear to step into the river with his crippled body, but his desire to know God and honor Him overcame all apprehension. Tom wanted all that God had for him.

Imagine the pure beauty of this moment. This precious man, crippled, physically supported by others, stood shivering in the cold water. His eyes turned heavenward. With slurred speech he spoke an affirmation of faith. Slowly, carefully he was lowered into the river. As he rose from the liquid grace, any remaining veil fell from his eyes allowing him to see the Lord in the fullness of His love and acceptance - acceptance that Tom had searched for all of his life.

He once was blind, but now he could see.


"And Ananias went his way and entered the house;

and laying his hands on him he said,

'Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus,

who appeared to you on the road as you came,

has sent me that you may receive your sight

and be filled with the Holy Spirit.'

Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales,

and he received his sight at once;

and he arose and was baptized."

~ Acts 9:17-18

*Name changed

Tweetables to Encourage Others

A mountain river baptism reveals much more. @NanJonesAuthor shares a powerful testimony. (Click to Tweet)

Rising from the liquid grace, any remaining veil fell from his eyes. (Click to Tweet)

If you received Morning Glory via email and you love good ol' Southern Gospel, you'll want to visit the Morning Glory page. I'm featuring the Perry Sisters singing "I Just Want to Thank You Lord."

Nan Jones is an author/speaker who uses the words of her heart to assist fellow Christians in discovering the Presence of God in their darkest hour. Her devotional blog, Morning Glory, has become a place of community for Christians to find encouragement in God’s Word and comfort in His Presence. Nan’s devotions have produced a far-reaching impact across the nation and globe due to her online presence. She has been published in three anthologies: Ultimate Christian Living, Diamonds in the Light: Exceptional Women Showcasing Their Gifts, and God's Word for God's People: 2013 Daily Devotional. She has also been published in the online inspirational sites Christian Devotions, and Inspire a Fire, and has been featured as a guest blogger on several sites. She is thrilled to announce her debut book, "The Perils of a Pastor's Wife" which is slated to be released in early 2015 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. When Nan is not writing, she enjoys leading prayer retreats, bible studies or sharing God’s love as keynote speaker for special events. She is becoming known by her brand: "Even so, I walk in the Presence of the Lord." You many visit Nan at her website: www.NanJones.com or her blog, Morning Glory: http://morningglorylights.blogspot.com/. For personal communication you may email Nan at nan@jubilantlight.com.