Mud Island river walk
125 N Front St. Memphis, TN 38103
In the hard and happy times, God is there.
The Christian Life
“The one who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.” John 7:38
Experience the summer heat in a fun, unique way this week by splashing through the topography of the Mississippi River. Visit Mud Island to see the way the water flows through the river in the span of five city blocks. Wear swim shoes or flip-flops and walk through the waterway paths. Take the opportunity to point out how certain parts of the river are deep, while others are shallow.
Discuss how the Christian life can sometimes feel varied like the river. Sometimes we can feel very close to God, while other times we do not feel His presence as strong. It is important that kids understand that the Christian faith is not built on feelings. Point out that even when a part of the riverway is shallow, it is still a part of the river.
Ensure your kids that we can have confidence in our relationship with God, even if we do not always feel His presence. Our confidence is not in what we feel, but it’s in the gift of salvation that God freely gives us when we receive Him as our Lord and Savior. We cannot lose something we did not earn. While we are thankful for the salvation that we cannot lose, there are ways we can be active in the Christian life that help us notice the presence of God more often. These things include reading your Bible, praying, Worshiping, and building Christian community. Note that your family is going to try their best to do these things, so they can be faithful to draw near to God.
As you walk along the river with your family, you notice how the river changes with different twists and turns. The current is strong, and sometimes it seems wild and undirected. Life can feel this way, especially when God calls us to something new. There are families from right here at Bellevue whom God has called to move to other cities to start churches and Share Jesus—that’s a pretty big life change! God’s plan is always better than what we can imagine, but in the midst of change, it can be harder than we even imagined.
Mission work isn’t always easy. A lot of times, missionaries experience resistance from the people they are Sharing Jesus with. Maybe you have experienced resistance even here in Memphis as you share the Gospel with your friends and neighbors. During those challenges, we can learn from Jesus by looking at how He always looked to God in the middle of every situation. Jesus came to Earth and lived a perfect life, modeling how we should seek after God in our highs and lows. Jesus made sure to spend time with the Father after exciting times—after healing the blind man or feeding 5,000 people, but He always made sure to draw near to the Father in times of trouble too. Instead of running away or hiding, He spent time alone with His Father. Jesus knew the only way to go through life on Earth is with the Lord’s help. Through the highs and lows of life, remember to lean on the Lord for help and guidance.
While access to the park is free, there is a fee for parking. If you want to extend your experience, consider going to the Mississippi River Museum located on the island. It is open Fridays noon–4:00 p.m. and Saturdays 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. and costs $10 for adults, $8 for children, and free for children ages four and under. Take a picture by the Memphis sign and post it with #fightforyourfamily and #outdoorsummeradventure. Take the opportunity to enjoy some air conditioning by going across the street to Bass Pro Shop and looking at the fish.