I love mountain streams. Any stream that cascades over worn rock, running through boughs of Mountain Laurel that have grown over the branch, forming a living tunnel through which the water tumbles ever onward and down the mountainside. Whether small and narrow or broad and wide, these streams roar with “the voice of many waters.” (Rev. 1:15) I can always hear these streams long before I see them. But hearing them, oh how they draw me to themselves like a moth to a candle flame. My soul yearns for the stream as yet not sighted.
I don’t understand this and I don’t really have a logical explanation. It is not enough for me to go to one of these mountain streams; no, I want to get in these streams; to sit in their midst and let the swirling water rush past me. I don’t mean that I like to sit “in” the water; these streams are freezing no matter what time of the year. No, I am drawn to mountain streams because they are always full of rocks and boulders. These granite laden branches are why I love the Great Smokey and the Blue Ridge mountains so much. If anything defines this place, it is the preponderance of boulder and rock laden waterways.
Somehow, in a way I don’t understand and cannot really explain, I connect with God when I sit on a rock in the middle of one of these streams on the mountainside. The beauty, the raw power, the majesty and yet simplicity of the moment is humbling. I sit and listen to the roar of the passing water – of water smashing into and rushing past solid stone; and I think of God.
If, when I’m in a place like this, I can also look up and see the sun’s rays beaming through the branches and leaves of the trees overhead; that’s when I think “surely heaven must be like this – only better.” God’s Word tells us that the “heavens declare the glory of God.” Well, not only the heavens, but the mountains as well! The mountains declare the glory of God. And, the lowly rambling streams that bounce and twitter around stone and boulder shout at the top of their lungs – “GOD!” “God did this!” “God is worthy of your praise, your glory…your all!”
I pray that my soul will always be drawn to the testimony of God that lives in His creation. I pray that I will always be drawn to sit in the middle of the rushing waters. For, I know that I will always be able to talk to my Father there. More importantly, I will be forced to listen. “1As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. 2My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” (Psalm 42:1-2)