I wonder what that sounded like.
Not too far from where I live, is a waterfall called ‘High Force’. People come from all over to see it; and when it’s in full spate it’s pretty spectacular. How it roars! Was it something like that that John heard?
I used to think that ‘High Force’ would be hard to beat. That’s until I recently visited the Niagara Falls. Over two million litres a second goes over the ‘Horseshoe Falls’ alone, with another half a million litres over the ‘American Falls’. You can go through tunnels behind the falls and feel the rock vibrating with the power of the water.
I think that’s what John heard. And he needed to. He was about to receive visions of events that would shake the whole universe. He needed to be reassured that the word spoken by the Lord will always come about. It’s that powerful.
There’s power in water and there’s power in the word of God. Psalm 29 is a celebration of the power of the word of the Lord: ‘The voice of the Lord in power; the voice of the Lord in splendour’ … ‘The voice of the Lord rocks the desert … and strips the forests bare, while in His temple all cry “Glory!”’ (Psalm 29:4-9).
A while back, I visited some caves in Spain where water has carved out stupendous grottos decorated with spectacular stalagmites and stalactites, and rock crystals, all formed by the movement of water – not the thundering power of Niagara but drip and trickle over millennia: gentle power, but power none-the-less.
And when Jesus speaks His word into our lives, there’s power, power to bring change. Perhaps an amazing miracle – a ‘Niagara’ or, at least, a ‘High Force’. Or maybe, as He speaks day by day, a slow transformation like in the ‘Spanish caves’. Or ‘a still, small voice’ like the one Elijah heard as he stood outside the cave on Mount Horeb; so gentle yet so strong (1 Kings 19:12).
The thing is to hear and receive that word, however it comes, and to allow Him to do His work in our lives. What’s He saying to me today? Am I attentive to His quiet voice and willing to let Him do His slow gentle work, however much I’d love to experience a ‘Niagara’?
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your word. Thank You for its power to change, transform and heal. Thank You for speaking to me through the Scriptures, through Your word faithfully preached, through books and circumstances, and what my friends say to me. Help me to hear and discern what You’re saying to me today, and to receive it into my life, where it will bring change. Amen.
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