Like a River With No Bed

Luke 10:38-42 (NIV)

At The Home of Mary and Martha

 

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

(click on the arrows to explore both scriptures)

Lyrics

PART 1

 

VERSE 1

When worries happen to appear, and pile high and tall

All your needs have breached the sky and tower over all 

Do not think of all you lack but understand who waits 

Waits in the next room to ask and teach you of His ways

 

VERSE 2

But when you come into the room, is His will on your mind?

Or do you listen through the wall and bend the words to please your cries?

Always wondering the truth behind the words He says 

But why do you attempt to guess when you can hear instead?

 

CHORUS

Sitting at His feet 

Is where I want to be 

Sitting in His love 

Listening to the words He speaks

Focusing my all

On every word He says

Watching as they move

And dance like a river with no bed

 

VERSE 3

O the words that I have heard and the stories that He told

At first, I did not understand but sat around and tried to mold

My mind around the very truth He spoke with such command

I never thought I’d have a day so wonderful and grand 

 

CHORUS

Sitting at His feet 

Is where I want to be 

Sitting in His love 

Listening to the words He speaks

Focusing my all

On every word He says

Watching as they move

And dance like a river with no bed

 

BRIDGE

Many things can come upset yet few He has required

If you long to do what’s best, come sit and rest beneath His smile 

Give your heart the chance to feel His joy down deep within

Joy He came to give, and I found sitting next to Him

 

CHORUS

Sitting at His feet 

Is where I want to be 

Sitting in His love 

Listening to the words He speaks

Focusing my all

On every word He says

Watching as they move

And dance like a river with no bed

 

PART 2 

 

VERSE 1

But then one day, I called on Him and thought He’d come too late 

My brother whom I dearly love had fallen captive to the grave

Jesus said he would arise and this I do believe

For He is Son of God Most High, Messiah King of Kings

Still a part of me was hoping for His lips to say

He should have come two days ago and healed 

To stop the grave 

 

CHORUS 1

He wept by me instead 

He placed His hands upon my head 

Holding me with all my grief 

Helping me to find release

I know His love for us is real, but still I felt a sorrow I have never longed to feel

 

VERSE 2

Then the ground began to shake 

He told them, “Take the stone away”

Prepare your eyes to see 

The glory of the King revealed

“Lazarus,” He said, “Come out

Take off the grave clothes now”

Then with my eyes I saw a dead man walking he’s alive, he was

 

CHORUS 2

Spoken to life, he was

Spoken to life 

Like a river with no bed

The glory of the Lord will never end 

 

OUTRO

Sitting at His feet again

I see a different side

I learned to trust Him with His ways

And know He’s never late, but right on time

Image by Jeffrey Hamilton

Dive Deeper

 

          This song is inspired by two gospel stories from Luke 10:28-42 and John 11:1-44. Both stories include Jesus’ interaction with the sisters, Mary and Martha. Although they are separate interactions, both stories center around the same idea that Jesus will never stop revealing Himself to us because of His faithfulness and love.

Luke 10:38-42 "'38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'”

          It is easy to get caught up with the things in life that seem to need to happen in the moment. This is how Martha felt in this passage. She wanted to be a good host to her guest, so she spent her time cooking in the kitchen and cleaning up around the house. However, her priorities were not in the right place. Mary, on the other hand, decided to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen intently to His teachings. She saw that this was an opportunity for her to learn and be filled with Jesus’ wisdom. She must have been aware of the work that still needed to be done, but she decided that spending her time with Jesus was much more important. He will reward the time we commit to Him.

          It is so important for us to commit time to knowing and listening to God. We should set aside the things we need to check off our lists and take time daily to connect with the Lord. God has given us the gift of the Bible with teachings and guidance. He has also directed us to pray and lean on Him for guidance in our lives. He is so good and knows the exact, right things to do. Why do we attempt to guess how to live best when we can listen to God instead and start on the right path? Take time to sit at the feet of Jesus. This may look like a designated time of prayer or scripture reading. Focus on Him and listen to how He may be speaking to you, because God has much wisdom and love—His love is like a river with no bed. Give your heart the chance to feel His joy down deep within. Joy He came to give and I found sitting next to Him.

          Mary and Martha loved Jesus and knew that He was their Messiah. After Jesus’ visit, He left them to keep traveling and teaching. After some time, Lazarus, Mary and Martha’s brother, became ill. The sisters sent word to Jesus that Lazarus had gotten sick because they knew that if Jesus came back to them, He would have the power to heal their brother. When Jesus heard the news of Lazarus’ sickness, He decided to stay where He was for two more days, and then headed back to Judea where Mary, Martha, and Lazarus awaited Him. When Jesus decided to go to Judea, He told His disciples, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.” By the time Jesus arrived, Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days. When Martha heard Jesus had arrived, she went out to meet Him. In her grieving, she told Jesus that if he would have gotten there earlier, Lazarus would not have died. Jesus replied saying that Lazarus would rise again and told Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” After this, Jesus called for Mary. Mary quickly ran out to Jesus, fell at his feet, and weeping told Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Scripture says that when Jesus saw Mary weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. Together, they went to the tomb of Lazarus, and Jesus wept. 

          But He wept by me instead. Jesus empathizes with us in our times of suffering. He does not enjoy seeing us in pain. He knows how we feel and wants to comfort us. Jesus loved Lazarus and felt sorrow because of his death. He took the time to comfort Mary and grieved the death of Lazarus like the rest of the people there.

          Then, Jesus performed a miracle. He commanded that they take the stone away from the grave. Jesus called out in a loud voice for Lazarus to come out! “The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, ‘Take off the grave clothes and let him go’” (John 11:44).

         

          God’s timing is perfect. Ours is not. We think we know what the best thing is for ourselves, but God knows best and His timing is perfect. Jesus restored the life of Lazarus, and what a blessing that must have been. Mary and Martha got to see their brother be spoken back to life! The glory and power of Jesus was so present in that moment. But, God doesn’t always have to “heal our brother” to prove His faithfulness. God knows what He is doing and has a plan for everything, but restoration will not always look like how we picture it. We need to trust Him and His timing because He knows perfectly what is best for us.

A river with no bed is so deep we could never come close to reaching its bottom. Like a river with no bed, Jesus will never stop revealing Himself to us when we sit at His feet and listen. He wants us to know Him and understand His teachings. He longs for a personal relationship with us, and the way to build that relationship is to dedicate time to getting to know Him more and more each day. Like a river with no bed, Jesus will never stop being faithful to us. He is perfection. We may think we might have a plan for our lives, but God is perfect in His timing. He is the only one who truly knows what the best thing for us is, so we need to lean into Him for that guidance. Like a river with no bed, the glory of the Lord will never end.


Questions for Reflection

  1. What does it mean for you to sit at the feet of Jesus?

  2. Do you ever find yourself like Martha, distracted by the busyness of life when you should be focusing on Jesus? How can you remind yourself to be more like Mary and focus your time on Jesus and His teachings to you?

  3. Even though Jesus had the power to heal Lazarus before He arrived at the tomb, He chose to take the time to grieve with Mary and Martha first. How can we be like Jesus in this way? What does it look like to empathize with those who are hurting?

  4. Are there any big ways that God has given restoration in your life? What about some small ways that God has helped you heal or shown you restoration in His timing?

Image by kazuend

Hiddens Features

Biblical Point of View:

Mary of Bethany 

Musical Explanation:

  • Like a River With No Bed contains two stories. The first story

        is from Luke 10 where Mary is sitting at Jesus’ feet while Martha

        is in the kitchen. The second story is from John 11, and this story

        is about the death and resurrection of Mary and Martha’s brother Lazarus. 

  • The two stories in this song are told vocally instrumentally. The first story, Luke 10, is told instrumentally with a guitar, but John 11 is told instrumentally with a piano. Thus, when a guitar is heard in the song the vocalist (Giovanna Johnson) is singing from the perspective of sitting at Jesus’ feet in Luke 10, but when a piano is heard the vocalist is singing from the John 11 perspective. The two instruments are then both played at the end of the song to show how Jesus brings closure to Mary and Martha’s story.

  • In the song, Mary sings “Then the ground began to shake” and during this time the piano begins to roll. The rolling of the notes on the piano are symbolic of the stone being rolled away. This same style is played again in One Day as Jesus sings “I pray until the Kingdom comes, remember all I’ve said and done, until we meet again, one day”. This instrumental melody is played again in One Day for several reasons. First, it is played to represent the theme of God’s Kingdom and the restoration that will come as we enter into it. Second, it is played because Jesus says, “until we meet again one day”. For Lazarus, he met Jesus again as he was brought back to life. However, this is also representative of eternal life. When we see Christ again, the stone of this life will be rolled away and we will walk into the arms of our savior one day.   

  • At the end of the song, Mary sings about sitting at the feet of Jesus again, however, this time she understands many things she did not when she sat at His feet the first time.

  • The imagery of a river with no bed is meant to symbolize the Words and Kingdom of God. A riverbed is the base of a river which holds the river together and helps it to flow in a specific direction. A river does not flow beyond the riverbed for it is the bottom of the river and acts as a limit for the river. However, Mary is singing of how God’s words are like a river with not bed, meaning there is no end or limit to them. God’s words are timeless and eternal, whether it be his promises or His living word of scripture. She is explaining how God’s words have no end and will live on forever.   

How to sing:

This song is to be sung with great passion. Imagine the push and pull of an ocean; the sensation of swaying back and forth. Imagine being held by someone rocking you back and forth as they tell you a story and comfort you during a difficult time or season in life. This song is to be sung with tiredness from fighting the good fight and yet rest in the arms of the Savior. As you listen to/sing this song, think of the most wonderful hug you have received and sing as though you are wrapped within it. Though the trials may be at hand, you are safe in the Savior’s arms. 

Like a River With No Bed