Sunday, February 22
Read: Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
I grew up on ten acres of beautiful land in Upstate New York, where I spent lots of time outside. Nature became my refuge, and I discovered God’s voice in the woods, meadows, and streams near my home. Bird songs and the sound of running water offered comfort, peace, and inspiration. In my secret shelters, I was never alone, and in quiet reflection, I learned to pray.
And so, when I found out that my husband had prostate cancer this fall and my younger son was facing significant difficulties, I sought strength and solace in the great outdoors. Richard and I needed time together, so we planned an escape to the Columbia River Gorge, a scenic 80-mile canyon that cuts through the Cascade Range in Northern Oregon. We started at Crown Point, an overlook with gorgeous eastward views of the Gorge. As I gazed at the spectacular vista before my eyes, the wonder of God’s creations gave me new perspective. The soft green hillsides, gently rolling river, and majestic white mountaintops in the distance created a serene landscape that calmed my troubled heart. Our trek along the historic Columbia River highway included frequent stops to hike along misty wooded trails, each one with waterfalls.
I had read about these amazing waterfalls, but didn’t anticipate their magical effect. Each waterfall was unique, and I was compelled to stop, stare, and listen, as the cascading water created colorful rainbows. Tiny droplets surrounded me¸ and fragrant fresh air filled my lungs. In these moments, I became aware of God’s call to let go. Every drop of water is pulled to earth by the force of gravity, but each one follows its own path. Eventually, each drop of water lands safely in a stream or pool, joining other drops of water on a continuing journey.
The water worked its magic that day, and a sense of tranquility embraced my soul. As Richard and I continued our hiking adventures, waterfalls kept appearing, and my anxiety and fear of the future were transformed into deeper acceptance of God’s plans. With each drop of water that touched my face and the lovely music from those rippling creeks, there was newfound grace and peace in my heart. These experiences brought freedom from my insecurities with all the “what ifs” and greater resilience to bear whatever might come my way.
Moving ahead now, Richard’s surgery was successful, my son is making progress, and I continue to lean on the Lord for steadfast courage. I will always be grateful for waterfall blessings. They remind me that the Lord is my light, my salvation, and the stronghold of my life.
Prayer: Dear Lord, Thank you for moments to step outside and for opportunities to walk near flowing water. Help me draw upon all my senses as I absorb sights, sounds, smells, and feelings. I am so grateful for nature’s blessings that bring me peace.