Friday, March 11, 2011

The Making and Naming of a Waterfall

When we were in Costa Rica we hiked up in to the rain forest.
Along the way, we witnessed incredible beauty.  Tall, strong, green trees and delicate ferns, flowers of every color and fruits hanging from vines and sprouting from branches surrounded us circumferentially.
It was lush and moist and green – and it was alive. And then ...
... we entered a place of desolation.  Unexpectedly, we came around the corner and stepped out of the beauty of life and onto a path – that was not really a path at all -- over rocks and dried out dirt.
Three months prior, during a very rainy and stormy time, a mudslide powered down the mountain.  Rocks and debris, slipping from the mountainside,  tore through the forest, plowing over and through trees, flowers, and plants – destroying the beauty.
The contrast was obvious.
“Do you see that waterfall?” the guide said, as she pointed to a small stream of water, in the distance, that flowed over the cliff. 
“It was not there before the mudslide.  The storm and the damage created a new waterfall for us.  We would not have had it if not for this mudslide. It once was an underground spring, now it is a waterfall.”
Hmmm …. the damage created a new waterfall for us.  I love waterfalls.
Mudslides occur in our lives, too, at times.   Rainy seasons and stormy seasons result in the ground underneath us slipping away and we find that a vein of destruction tears itself through our otherwise green, living life.  The boulders, rocks and dirt of uncertainty, fear, and sorrow are scattered on the hillside of our lives.  Little sign of what once was remains, and what does remain seems to be knocked over, tangled and ugly.
But if we look carefully, in time, we just may see something new, like the new waterfall that was created as the mountainside exposed a spring.  Now, instead of the water running deep within the mountain, it flowed down the side, bringing refreshment and life -- and a new sort of beauty.
So, too, the Lord creates new streams and new waterfalls in our lives. It is hard to see – or even believe –  but if we look, we see what God has done.
 A new waterfall. A new stream. A new opportunity. A new source of refreshment. A new provision for life. A new strength. A new dream. A new kind of trust.
“You’ll have to name this waterfall, just the like the others,” I said to the guide, smiling, as I thought of the some of my mudslides and began to see more clearly some of the waterfalls that resulted.
What would I name them? I’m not sure, yet -- maybe “He Makes All Things New, ” or “The Value of Learning to Wait,” or “A Spring of Strength”
What about you? Can you see the waterfall of life that God has brought or is bringing out of a time of trial?  What would you name it?

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