This one I started many years ago, and the words were similar but different in fundamental ways. The original song was written the summer I was born again, maybe a month before that beautiful night. It was not a pretty time. I was spending a lot of time in the desert (yes, literally–but in a figurative way as well now that I think about it) and was logging hours in on a rubber raft on the Colorado river, with the intent to become a river guide. The original song was written about the river, which carries you away so quickly and whose power can be deceptive in the slow, deep water but powerful and frightening through the rapids–where the power of the river to carry you all the way from the mountains to the sea is amazingly apparent. The words to the first song were a good window into my turbulent life at the time…I was sinking into the abyss, being swept away in the merciless current and powerless to save myself. Where the new song speaks of rising, the old one spoke of sinking. Where the new song shouts with praise and joy, of direction thorough God’s Grace, the old one spoke of living “Life like driftwood on the river’s back”.

My dear husband had the patience of Job that summer, because he had to wait for me to truly hit rock bottom before I was able to die to my own will, give up my pride and turn back to God. Despite it all he was there for me when I did hit that black place where there was no denying I was lost in sin and that I had to make a choice then and there as to where the rest of my life–and my eternal soul!–was heading. Had the burden on my shoulders not been so great it would never have brought me to my knees, which was where I had to be. I thank God every day for my husband, for his sharing his faith with me, for his faith in God and his devotion to God’s will, for his teaching and especially for his amazing patience with me. I try not to think about where I would be without him. The blessing God gave me in not only being saved that summer but also meeting the wonderful man I would marry is just too awesome for words!

It might sound like the opening sentence of a bad novel, but it was a dark and stormy night(!) when I finally found myself on my knees, alone in the dark, praying fervently for forgiveness and asking with all my soul for Christ to come into my heart, take my life, change me and have me for His own. I prayed and cried as the thunder rolled and the rain washed down, and asked God for a sign that he was there, that he heard my prayers. Would you believe that the instant the prayer was out of my mouth LIGHTENING STRUCK a tree right by the apartment complex I lived in? God knew I was so thick skulled it would take nothing less to convince me….but that was 13 years ago and I remain convinced to this day!

The Riversong as it was then really didn’t apply to my life after that night, and although I like the music and enjoyed playing the song it slipped away because it didn’t feel right anymore. Over the years I’ve thought about changing it, because there are so many analogies to the river and baptism and the song was, in many places (as I was that summer) very close to getting it right while still missing the mark. So I reworked it, and the new words fit much better than the old!

Praise God for his saving grace, that we can begin again and that he can wash away our sins!


The river runs silent
As deep as Jacob’s well
I still can taste the water
From the river where I fell
Raging like the rapids
Flowing like a kiss
Rising with a new life
From an infinite abyss

I am running to the river
I am calling out Your name
And counting on the promise
I will never be the same

I was heavy with my burdens
They had brought me to my knees
I had turned to You a blind eye
And my own desires appeased
But at night I heard you calling
Heard you whispering my name
Heard you promise me a new life
I will never be the same

Will you take me to the river
Will you wash away my sin
Put to death the one who I was
Let my heart be born again

As I rise up from these waters
And my past is washed away
Lord I give to you my new life
This, in Jesus’ name I pray
Praise you God for your deliverance!
Praise you God for all your Grace!
Praise you for the awesome knowledge
That one day I’ll see Your face!

I am running down this river
I am calling out Your name
Thank you Father for the promise
I will never be the same

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