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Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Raymondskill Falls, Delaware Water Gap
Raymondskill Falls, Delaware Water Gap
Click to enlarge

"In The Roar Of Your Waterfalls"

Message summary: Today may a refreshing sense of God's love flood your spirit like a roaring waterfall!

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"Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep in the roar of Your waterfalls; all Your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the Lord directs His love, at night His song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life" (Psalm 42:5-8).

Your love is like a waterfall, waterfall
Running wild and free
You hear my heart when I call, when I call
Deep calls, to deep
Your love is like a waterfall, waterfall
Raining down on me

Our trip to the Poconos is the first distant trip Ester has taken since early March and only our second one. We wanted to get away for a few days and had considered going up to Niagara Falls but with all the unrest I'm a bit wary of cities, even smaller ones. So we stayed rural, which is almost always my preference anyway.

The Poconos may not have a large and famous waterfall like Niagara Falls but there are many smaller waterfalls that are very scenic and include outstanding hikes to get to them. Five years ago we visited Bushkill Falls which includes a very strenuous hike we deemed unsuitable this trip due to Ester's heart condition.

commonly used standard versions of the Bible such as the ESV, NASV and NIV, only refer to a waterfall one time in our daily text, with this descriptive phrase, "the roar of Your waterfalls". The KJV uses the term "waterspouts". There are many waterfalls in the Holy Land. The Shalom Holy Tours lists "5 Israeli Waterfalls That Will Take Your Breath Away". Perhaps it was one of these waterfalls that is alluded to in the Bible text.

Waterfalls can be powerful and loud; they can "roar" as the Bible states. You can hear Niagara Falls long before you see it. As we pulled into the parking area for the Raymondskill Falls (photo above) we could hear the rushing water pounding over the cascade of rocks far in the distance. Even this late in the summer it had enough water toppling down into the base of the pool to be interesting, but how much greater the roar if we visited during the spring runoff!

The Psalmist, who is not identified by name, is making a point. He begins the selection with a description of his emotional state, "Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?" That's a description of discouragement, disappointment and despair which most of us have experienced. He forthrightly acknowledges his condition which leads to his perspective and determination as he speaks to himself and writes in the text for others to apply, "Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God."

For some reason the Psalmist recalls a waterfall, perhaps one of the "Five Israeli Waterfalls That Will Take Your Breath Away" and considers it when he writes, "the roar of Your waterfalls". He seems to be experiencing a sweeping surge of assurance and encouragement even while acknowledging that the waterfall far exceeds our ability to control or calm its intended purpose, "Deep calls to deep in the roar of Your waterfalls; all Your waves and breakers have swept over me." We especially consider that phrase "swept over me". How spiritually enriching it is to feel the sweeping sensation of God's Spirit as described in the chorus of "Wonderful Peace"; "Sweep over my spirit forever I pray, in fathomless billows of love".

The daily Scripture portion ends with an expression of peaceful assurance that we can all apply, "By day the Lord directs His love, at night His song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life".

Blogger Chuck Summers writes, "God’s love certainly is like a refreshing waterfall. It brings both joy and cleansing. His love is constant but we often experience it in unexpected ways. You never know where, how or through whom you might experience the love of God."*

Today may a refreshing sense of God's love flood your spirit like a roaring waterfall!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, the Psalmist in Psalm 42 describes the rushing and heaving and restless waters as though they were the deep unending sorrows of his soul. Sometimes we describe our circumstance as floods of tears or oceans of sorrows because we feel like we're drowning in grief much like the Psalmist. But after painting a very dismal picture, he reminds us of how we can be uplifted even while our soul is downcast and disturbed. Though circumstances may be grim we're reminded to put our hope in You, not even in the circumstance or its outcome. Your steadfast love never ceases and Your mercies never end but they are renewed day by day. Great is Your faithfulness! By day You direct Your love toward us and at night Your song is with us, so we offer our prayer of thanksgiving to You, our God and faithful Father. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Waterfall"  Video   Chris Tomlin  (Is there any nature topic Chris Tomlin has not written or composed for a song!)

"One Thing Remains"  Video  Maranatha! Music

"Wonderful Peace"  Video  Joni Lamb & the Daystar Singers and Band

Today we share several photos of our trip to the Poconos

Lake Wallenpaupack
We walked around the crest of the dam at Lake Wallenpaupack, the largest reservoir in the Poconos and second largest in PA. The Indian name for the Wallenpaupack Creek, which was dammed to make the reservoir, means "The Stream of Swift and Slow Water".
Click to enlarge

Hawley Silk Mill
This interesting building was home of the Hawley Silk Mill which has been redeveloped with retail space and a very classy hotel, "The Ledges" which overlooks waterfalls.
Click to enlarge

Dingmans Bridge
We crossed the Dingmans Bridge, the last privately owned toll bridge on the Delaware River and one of very few that still exist in the United States. It is owned and operated by the Dingmans Choice and Delaware Bridge Company.
Click to enlarge
Here's an interesting video on Dingmans Bridge on CBS Sunday Morning (30 years ago).

Photo of us at base of Bushkill Falls, Poconos, 5/21/15
Here we are at Bushkill Falls during our last visit to the Poconos in 2015
Click to enlarge

Finally today:

Customer service poster
We saw this tree on the very rugged trail to Raymondskill Falls. It provides a cozy little shelter should a thunderstorm suddenly appear, though I'd check for other little or big critters in the dark crevices that might have the same idea.
Click to enlarge

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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