God can speak anytime, to anyone, at anyplace. Any place in this scenario would be: Silver Falls State Park in Oregon. It’s awesome how, wherever we are at in our walks with Jesus, He wants to meet us wherever we take our walks around this playground known as His creation.
While volunteering as a youth leader back in the day, I used to always make up random object lessons on the fly to teach my students simple truths about God. They would call them, “Mini Sermons by DShat”. I just called it, “Looking for God in the everyday”. During our hike through the woods, the object God chose to speak to me about was the waterfall. And not only one waterfall, but two.
The first waterfall we came across had a long straight drop to a little pond at the bottom. Your basic “run of the mill” waterfall. I checked it out from all angles and asked the Lord what He was trying to show me. Here’s what unfolded:
Sometimes we are casually floating in the river of God, then suddenly out of nowhere comes this fall. This can be scary. It’s definitely a leap of faith. But I think most importantly, it’s a place of “Trust and Transformation”.
As we are in the river, we are a form of ourselves. As the water falls off the cliff, some of ourselves makes it to the bottom to be collected in the pool. The rest gets evaporated!
In those freefall/leap of faith moments, I think God’s goal is for us to trust the fall and lose ourselves completely into Him – where I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
It’s as though I disappear and get exchanged for a newer identity. And after the fall, I finally come to a place of rest and a place of peace.
So, when life turns upside down and everything appears to be crumbling down: the number one thing we need to do is TRUST in the Lord. Through every storm. Through every failure. Through every breaking point. He wants us to TRUST Him. If we trust Him, we will be able to allow Him to TRANSFORM us, making us more into His likeness AND allowing Him to equip us for future out-of-hand moments. When we place our circumstances in His hands, He knows the true way to find peace and finally be still.
It’s all about: TRUST AND TRANSFORMATION
“The Lord is trustworthy in ALL He promises AND faithful in ALL He does”
~ Psalm 145:13
The second waterfall had a cluster of rocks halfway down which impeded the fall of the water before landing at the bottom. I thought by the time I encountered this waterfall, He would have nothing new to teach me. I was wrong. So, I found a cliff off to the side, stared at the fall with my pen in hand and this is what He told me.
Sometimes we have “rocks” (trying to save ourselves by our own strength during the fall) which disrupt our falling. We have a fear of losing ourselves or a fear of trusting Him with His more abundant plan for our lives. The rocks do assure us that we make it to the bottom, but we still look like we did before. We lose the outcome of being transformed. We survive when we allow the rocks to hinder our transformation to where God is taking us, however, they slow the process of our transformation and hinder us from relinquishing full control over to Him.
The fall could be terrifying, and we may not want to walk through it, BUT in the end, it is going to be so worth it! You may not see it in the moment, or even for years, but the coming joy is inevitable. Paul further encourages us by saying,
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed to us.”
~ Romans 8:18
It WILL be WORTH it.
Also, rocks take away all the thrill! We can embrace the fall and, in doing so, we can see Jesus move in ways we could have never imagined. We limit His goodness and His ability to move (and be present) when we allow FEAR to drive us OR when we refuse to give up control.
I don’t ever want to go through the hardest of trials and have nothing to show for it! If I can be shaped through every storm, then God please do it! I don’t want to come out the same person as I was before. Because when this happens again, I want to be fully prepared to confront any circumstance head on as a strong man of God who does not bow down to fear. I want to fully transform, and never conform.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will”
~ Romans 12:2
So ultimately, what’s the lesson I’ve learned from the waterfalls? I learned even when life is confusing and makes ZERO sense, when it feels like I’m all alone, and when pain comes knocking at my door, sending me into a freefall off the cliff, I’ll remember this truth:
The fall is not meant to destroy me. It’s meant to transform me.
Let me repeat that and let it sink in.
The fall is NOT meant to destroy YOU.
The fall is meant to TRANSFORM YOU.
“Jesus, let me fall freely! I’m in YOUR river, moving where YOU lead. Let me trust in YOUR words, even as it feels like I’m falling, so I may fully let go of my ways, my strength, and my plans: So I may be transformed to look just like You, finding rest in Your love and enjoying YOUR promises and a life more abundant.”