Monday, August 6, 2007

The Falls

"The voice of Jehovah resounds on the waters; The glorious God thunders forth from the height. The LORD is upon the great sweep of the waters- The LORD's voice in splendor! The LORD'S voice in might!"

"The LORD on His throne sat above the great deluge! The LORD on His throne sits as King without cease! The LORD is the One Who gives strength to His people! The LORD is the One Who will bless them with peace!"

Psalm 29:3-4, 10-11

We drove into Niagra Falls, Canada last night at 9:30. We booked a hotel conveniently located within a quarter mile of the Falls and we were excited to get there in time for the 10 pm fireworks. What we found when we got there was a sight indeed.

The streets were flooded with people walking blindly among the lights and sights of a tourist trap unlike any I've ever seen. We were moving at a snail's pace just trying to get through the throng. It was not uncommon for pedestrians to not even see our 15 passenger van's bumper literally 2 feet in front of them. There was Ripley's Believe It or Not, a 4-D movie theater, Rainforest Cafe, Hard Rock Cafe, several wax museums, a huge faris wheel, stores and restaurants everywhere. It was craziness. It was like a glutton's feast of man-made fantasy and "thrills".

My kids were astounded. "It looks like the State Fair!" "Where are all these people going?"

We saw the fireworks and got situated in our room. The partying continued into the morning hours as evidenced by the flowers that topped our car this morning thrown down from the overlooking balcony.

The sunrise however revealed and entirely different scene. The streets were quiet and clean from the morning rain. We headed down to the dock hoping to cast off early on the Maid of Mist which is exactly what we did.

Somewhere along the line we have traumatized some of our smaller children with amusement or water park rides that we claimed were fun but they beg to differ. Now they always ask, "Is this a medium ride or a fast ride? Really? Do you promise?"

When we told them we were going on a boat ride they pointed in horror to the Falls and cried, "I'm not going down that!" We explained in every way possible that we were not riding down the falls and hoped that the fun, blue poncho might serve as a distraction. Not.

With a little bit a trepidation and drama we got the spot right at the front of the boat and we were off.

The next twenty minutes were glorious to me. The sound of the water's roar grew louder and louder as we approached the center of the horseshoe. The wind was clean and the mist refreshing. And there we were surrounded by the sheer power, pure beauty. This was not another summer thrill ride. This was the work of the Creator, God of heaven and earth. It was made by His own Hand and for His own glory. It can never be imitated.

I thought of the Israelites as they crossed through the Red Sea and the wall of water that surrounded them. What faith they demonstrated as they heard that roar being held back as God delivered them.

I thought of the first man that followed the sounds of these particular falls and what his eyes looked like as made this discovery. He must have fallen to the ground in utter amazement.

I thought of God's voice in Scripture often being referred to in terms of roaring water. Though I have never audibly heard his voice, I have His written words and the Holy Spirit. I know that this is a more sure voice. Wow.

I thought of the children standing beside me and Rebekah in my arms. How I desire that they will grow in their love for God to the extent that they, like that boat, would turn from the man-made temporal pleasures and sail into the reality of living for God's glory. I pray that, as the Psalm says, in all the craziness of this world God will grant them strength and peace.

May it be so for me and for them.


Cindy said...

I am crying. Your writing is simply beautiful. Thank you for drawing me to Him tonight.

Scott has never been to the falls; I can't wait to go with him and the girls.

Love you, friend.

Kris said...

Awesome. Just awesome.

It's been fifteen years last month since we visited the Falls, and riding the Maid of the Mist with a 2-year-old and a 3-month-old was invigorating to say the least...but I, too, learned a valuable lesson. My screaming 3-month-old was lulled to sleep (???) by the roar of the Falls. The child who could awake from a dead sleep at the sound of a blanket falling across her face, was put to sweet slumber by the majesty of God's creation.

It was awesome. I can't wait to go back! Thank you for allowing me to "revisit" through your writing!