I was out taking a walk today with a friend, and happened upon this scene. Perhaps this photo looks ordinary enough to you, but then again, you don’t know the back story:
Several months ago, I took a walk on the same trail with another friend, and the view was entirely different. We were deep into the drought season, and the river was bone dry. As we walked along the path on the warm day, my eyes were greeted with the following vista: dry brush, several leafless trees, and some thirsty-looking ducks. The river bed was so dry that you could clamber down and walk on it, if you felt so inclined (and were wearing sturdy shoes).
I remember thinking, “There is supposed to be a river here, but where is the water?”
What a difference a few months and several storms have made! Today, I was amazed to behold the complete transformation of this trail. Indeed, the river banks had overflowed in some areas, and everywhere I looked, there was water! Not just a little bit of water, but a lot. For the first time that I can remember in several years, active river currents were visible, the grass around the river was lush and green, and – most exciting yet – you could hear the almost imperceptible sound of the rushing waters.
Something came to my mind, as I walked along the trail: All that is required for complete and utter transformation to take place is for God to say the word. That’s it.
Seriously. This time last year, we were in a massive drought, and now, all of the reservoirs are teeming with water, the grass is green, and the rivers are full. Everything has changed, but only because the Lord decided that it should be so.
Understand that the river didn’t try hard to fill itself with water, and the grass didn’t put together a strategic plan in order to make itself more green. At some point, God simply decided that it was time for the rain to come, and when it did, everything changed.
See, when God decides to change something – or someone – there nothing can stop Him. He simply speaks a word and it is so (don’t believe me? Then read the first two chapters in the book of Genesis).
So, today I am grateful for God’s amazing ability to completely transform anything and anyone, at any time. Nothing can stop Him.
However, sometimes His changes take awhile to be noticed. As with the river, it didn’t fill to capacity overnight; rather, with each ensuing storm, the river filled until the point where God said, “that’s far enough”.
The same is true with the grass. What was once dry and coarse now appears lush and green. This, too, took time, but God was working, even when the above-the-dirt changes weren’t yet evident.
Today was a bit of a mixed bag for me, and I was starting to feel a little discouraged. However, after spending some time looking at the river on my walk today, I am reminded that God is very much in the process of transforming me (and my circumstances), and that one day, I’ll look back on this time of my life and marvel at all of the wonderful changes He has brought forth.
Here is my prayer for today: Dear Jesus, thank You for being the the One who changes all things: hearts, minds, circumstances, other people, and even world events. While You do not – and cannot – change, I marvel at Your ability to transform any and all aspects of Your creation, according to Your timing and purposes. Help me to remember that You are always at work, even when Your efforts are not readily apparent to me. Thanks also for filling our rivers and reservoirs where I live, and for making sure that we have enough water to meet our daily needs (and to also ensure that the trees, rivers, and grassy areas are lush and beautiful to behold). In Your name I pray, Amen.