Life Lessons From A Waterfall

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Every year I used to go camping at Turner Falls in Oklahoma. We would camp on the top of the mountain and walk down to the river. The river was ice cold and it took awhile to get brave enough to plunge into it. It was so cold that just putting your foot in would take your breath away.

Although it was cold, it was very refreshing, especially in the heat of the summer. The water was the purest water I had ever seen. Of course, with Turner Falls being such a high tourist area, I was always to scared to drink the water for obvious reasons. We would take our time hiking down the river. There were many small waterfalls as we hiked.  The river cut through the mountain and the walls of rock and caves climbed  high above us. There was a small tree here and there. The river bed alternated between being as slippery as ice to areas of thick silt. We hiked all the way down to where the water fell over the cliff into the pool below.

After hiking our way back up the river, we would get in the truck and head down to the pool below the fall. There were a couple of huge boulders that the water fell on and a shallow cave formation behind the veil of water. The pool was deepest just below the fall.

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As I reflect on those memorable summers spent in the Arbuckle Mountains of Oklahoma, I think of the science that forms the falls. The steam often begins as a natural spring and is narrow. As the water courses down the river over resistant bedrock, erosion slowly takes place. As the velocity of the water is increased, turbulence occurs. The water carries  sediment which is microscopic silt, or pebbles and erodes the soft rock so that the streams channel cuts so deep that only hard rock is exposed.

Just above the fall, the stream becomes wider and shallower. Then there is that magic moment where the water ceases flowing horizontally and falls vertically. The water then crashes against the boulders below, which causes a back splash. The backsplash creates a shallow cave-like formation known as a rock shelter. The pool below the fall is deep due to the kinetic energy of the water hitting the bottom and causing erosion below.

Just thinking about this amazing phenomenon gives me chills. I don’t know if you got anything out of all that, but let me tell you what I got out of it.

The first thing that completely and totally amazes me is how that much water can continuously flow at such a high rate of speed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for thousands upon thousands of years. To me, this shows that there is a never ending abundance that can come only from God. Think about the waterfalls you have seen or know about. Consider Niagra Falls, for example. Then think about the thousands of waterfalls all over the world. You would think they would dry up at some point.

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Psalm 78:15-16 He split the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink in abundance. He also brought streams out of the rock and caused waters to run down like rivers.

And here’s something to think about.  The power that it takes to cut through the rocks and the mountains, the power of the water falling over the edge of the cliff. That power is so great that nothing can live in its path. Everything is uprooted. The water is pure and clean and it cleanses. It takes all the areas of the river and breaks it down and washes it away until there is  nothing but hard rock left. It cuts deep.

We all have dirt in our lives. We have things in our past that may be deeply rooted. We have mountains in our lives that we feel we can never overcome. The good news is that the Word  washes us as clean and pure as the river that flows through the mountain, until the point that our horizontal relationship with man falls over the edge and our relationship becomes vertical with Christ. It’s not always a fun time. The Word will cause turbulence in your life, but know that’s not always a bad thing. In fact, it ultimately turns into something beautiful.

There is a place behind the veil of the fall that you can hide. A sanctuary of sorts. A hiding place. The same water that gives life can also be a deadly force if used wrong. Of course, that is a different story for a different day, but think of all the times scripture has been misused and taken out of context.

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Nature has a lot to teach us if we pay attention. The Word is alive and well and is relevant to your situation. My prayer is that you glean revelation from the Waterfall.

I want to leave you with this as you think about the power of the waterfall, think about these things:

Job 8:6-7 If you were pure and upright, surely now He would awake for you and prosper your rightful dwelling place. Though your beginning was small, yet your latter end would increase abundantly.

Ephesians 3:20-Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.

John 7:38-He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water

Ephesians 5:25-26-Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the Word.

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