Standing by a mountain stream outside of Santa Fe New Mexico in October 1987 I made a simple request to the Lord. I asked Him to please teach me something that would help me and in turn help others the rest of my life.
I was led to pick up a small stick and drop it into the stream. I watched the stick float away and nothing seemed profound at all. Puzzled, I asked the Lord what I had missed. I was again led to pick up a stick and watch it as it floated down the stream. Again, there was nothing profound that took place. This was repeated at least four or five times with the same unremarkable results.
I stopped and thought about what was going on and in due time had an epiphany. Once the light bulb was turned on in my mind and I cast away all thoughts that there must be some stupendous event to take place; then I could receive from the Lord the answer to my request.
As I dropped the stick in the stream and watched, I saw how the stick would run into rocks but then simply follow the flow of the water and go around them. I watched as the stick would temporarily get stuck in a small pool of water near the bank and then in due time it would get back into the flow and once again go on its merry way downstream.
Fascinated, I must of dropped 40 sticks into the water and took note of the way they made it through the rocks, turbulence and still waters along the way. After quite a long time, I sat down and allowed the Lord to put this simple lesson together for me in my mind.
Life is not always a casual and lazy ride down a slow moving river. Life is not always a simple process of just laying there and letting the current take us to our Promised Land. No, at times there are rocks in the way and the water gets turbulent. It is at these times, that we must allow the water to carry us around those rocks.
There are also times when we are led to those still waters where we are to rest. For however long we are allowed to enjoy these times of rest, we should rejoice in them just as we rejoice when we are carried through the difficult and turbulent times.
God is perfectly capable of teaching us truly profound things through the simplest means if we allow Him to do so. We do not always need to sit in a classroom or be awed by spiritual fireworks to learn the great principles of God in relation to living. Many times we just need to be still and know that He is God and allow Him to instruct our hearts in righteousness.
I do love this analogy!
Over the years, God has spoken to me so much when I have beheld His handiwork in nature! It always astonishes me how He will take something so simple, like what you described, and teach us lessons which we never forget.
What a wonderful illustration! So simple, yet profoundly accurate. Your description of the stick's journey is so similar to what we each face on our own journey through life with all the obstacles, rough waters and calm.
Thank you so much for sharing that. I am sure to carry that illustration with me and will probably share it with others!
And BTW, from 1985-1988, my husband and I lived in Albuquerque, NM. I treasure the memories we have from our time in the Southwest!