River of Life

By John Krueger

As a youngster, I grew up in a small village in Michigan called Pine Run. My family lived on the banks of Pine Run River. A hundred years earlier, lumberjacks felled pine trees and floated the logs down the Pine to the lumber mill. Although the lumber mill is long gone, the river still winds its way through the village on its way to the Clio River and then the Flint, eventually spilling into Lake Erie.

As a young lad, one of my favorite pastimes was to sit on the banks of the Pine with a cane pole and fish for whatever I could catch. While fishing I would meditate on life as I understood it at that young age. I pondered the meaning of the relationship between God and man. My grandmother had told me that God created man for a reason, but for her that reason was nebulous. Although she wasn’t able to pin down a definite reason, she knew there had to be one. I would often sit with her as she read passages out of the Bible, most of which I did not understand but my mind was pricked with the thought that a great God would actually have a purpose for ME!

As a teenager, my grandmother, dying from cancer, called me to her bedside and gave me her Bible. She asked me to read it every day and to pray that God would show me His purpose for my existence. I kept that Bible for many years until it became so worn that I had to set it aside and buy a new one.

Studying her Bible convinced me that God had indeed placed man on Earth for a reason. I continued to return to the Pine Run River’s banks to meditate on God’s creation. While there, I read this verse: “You, even you, are Lord alone; you have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and you preserve them all; and the host of heaven worships you” (Nehemiah 9:6).

Reading this verse, I began to understand that the wonderful beauty and magnificence around me was created by a great God. It was not sheer chance. What an eye opener that was for a young person. I had to meditate on that for a while before I could grasp its profound meaning.

I started to learn about God from His physical creation! (Romans 1:20). If God created the universe and all that is within, surely he had a purpose for man. I started to understand that He certainly had a purpose for me—even at my young age.

I found that purpose in Genesis 1:26-28: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”

Romans 8:16-23 tell us that as joint heirs with Christ, the whole creation waits for us to deliver it out of the bonds of corruption. “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption [sonship], to wit, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:23).

There is so much to learn about God’s creation and purpose. If you, as a young person, can start to grasp the wonderful knowledge of your tremendous potential now, then you can build a solid spiritual foundation to help release the creation from Satan’s bondage.

Just as loggers hew the best pines to send down river to the saw mill where they are fashioned into straight, strong lengths of lumber to build a fine house, so too will God take His young people and set them down the course that will mold and shape them into princes and princess in His Kingdom.

Like the water flowing through Pine Run River, young people must learn to paddle their way through the small streams of God’s waters so they can negotiate the larger rivers that will carry them into the lakes and out into the ocean. Starting at a young age gives the solid footing of God’s truth that is needed when the flow gets rocky. Teenagers need to learn to steer the ship of faith to be granted safe passage to the wonderful world God has in store for all of us.

And then their destiny will be on another river: “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations” (Revelation 22:1-2).

We will ride that pure water of life out into the universe, healing and restoring as we travel the vast reaches of God’s creation.

What a wonderful and joyous future God has in place for His young people. Now is the time to take advantage of your youth.

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6 thoughts on “River of Life

  1. Mr. Krueger,
    Thank you for giving us this vision into the future. “We will ride that pure water of life out into the universe healing and restoring as we travel the vast reaches of God’s creation”

  2. The time in the childhood is really the best time to learn and how wonderful it is to build faith in God and learn Gods way of life and trust him fully already in the first years of live. We have to be teachable like little children are. It prevents so many bad things and bad expierience. What a blessing it is to have obedient parenets who teach the trues to their children. Thank you for sharing with us your special expierince it was wonderful to read.

  3. As I read this article, I thought of my own grandmother who spent a lot of time talking to me about God when I was a young girl. It was through her that God began to introduce Himself to me. I look forward to seeing my grandmother again some day after the second resurrection. This story has brought back fond memories and I enjoyed it very much. Thank you.

  4. How much we can learn from the hoary head, namely or parents and grandparents.
    and even the elderly in the Church.
    Think how much more our Heavenly Father will put that seed in our hearts, as
    he did with you.
    You had a great grandmother, she certainly set a seed in your head
    and then for you to pass that on to us, whether an adult or a child.
    How much you must look forward to the time ahead of us when you will
    be able to talk with her again on the banks of living water flowing out of
    that spring of pure water
    I still remember that story you told one Feast about the graveyard.
    Another principle that one could pass on.
    Thanks for the article!

  5. Mr. Krueger, thank you for sharing your story with us.I find it very stirring to hear how the Father put each of us ‘on the road’ to his family. It’s amazing how much impact parents and grandparents have on the life of a young person, a wonderful way we were created. That is another point not to be missed as well.

  6. Mr. Krueger thank you for sharing part of your life with us explaining how you became to know God. Also how we teens need to grasp this wonderful opportunity and grab the flowing waters to make it to the Kingdom. Also explaining this the way you did gives us more understanding of what God is looking for in us and what we need to do. Thanks again!

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