We sang this in church the other week at a service when I was preaching on the first three parts of the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy peace.
I’ve got peace like a river, peace like a river, peace like a river in my soul.
And so on for love and joy.
It’s none of my business to question the spirituality of whoever wrote that song, or the sincerity of the people who have sung it in various settings since it was written, but I wonder if sometimes there should be provision for a slightly different version.
Lord, give me peace like a river… love like an ocean… joy like a fountain…
A version for less-than-perfect saints. For the days when all is not quite as it should be.
I’m sure the same kind of thing could be said about lots of things that we sing in services. They may be true some of the time, but there are times when they are more an aspiration. (The same could probably be said about other things that we sing).
But, lest we be tempted to settle for spiritual poverty, we must not forget that these things are part of the fruit of the Spirit.
If you can sing it and mean it, rejoice! If you can’t – at least at the moment, make it a prayer.