We were all mesmerized by Sejalandsfoss, a giant waterfall in Iceland. The crash of the sheet of water hitting the pool below was deafening, and the spray made it seem like rain was falling from a sun-lit sky. By following a rugged, adventuresome trail, we even had the opportunity of exploring the cave directly behind the falls, where the view was even more breath-taking.
But the trail wasn’t adventuresome enough for my boys, then 16 and 18. They soon spotted a trail that ran part-way up the cliff, and off they went, leaving the old folks (my wife and I) behind on safer ground.
Though not as spectacular as the first, there were other beautiful waterfalls along the cliff, and a safe little trail ran on for some distance at its base, taking us up close to admire them. We meandered on down this trail until we came to a waterfall that appeared to only fall about half-way down the cliff, and then we hiked up the cliff a short distance to get some pictures. Imagine our surprise to find our boys, coming down the cliff’s face to meet us. I could only shake my head. What motivates the youth of today?
But to tell you the truth, I was the same at their age, and my wife was even worse! Maybe I should rephrase this: My wife is still adventuresome! She just doesn’t like leaving me behind!
The boys decided to check out another waterfall a bit farther down the trail, and since I wanted to take a few more photos of the main waterfall, we told them we would wait for them in the car.
It was while I was taking my pictures that I noticed the two fool-hearted tourists standing at the top of the main waterfall. One was bending down on one knee admiring the scenery, while the other was trying to get as close as possible to take pictures.
“Those two are completely crazy” I thought. “What would happen if they fell?” And I snapped a couple of pictures of them, figuring they could easily be the subject of a future inspirational story about the risks of not being cautious.
As I was telling my wife about these two lunatics, a knowing smile came over her face. “That sounds like something our boys would do,” she stated simply.
My mouth dropped open. Wait a minute! The boys weren’t back yet! Could it be??? I turned on the camera and carefully examined the pictures I had taken. Sure enough, the two on top of the falls exactly fit the body builds and personalities of our boys! Oh dear!
A pang of worry began to seed itself into my heart, but instead of letting it follow its natural course and drive me into a state of frenzied agitation, I focused on the fact that the act had already been done! My worry wouldn’t change a thing! And though I didn’t agree that this type of adventure should have been their foremost goal, I knew I could trust my sons to be careful, and even more, I could trust them to my Heavenly Father!
They returned about 15 minutes later, still all in one piece. We all had a good laugh when I told them about the two lunatics I had seen …
Not long after this “thrilling” event, I read following story in my Bible: “When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread.” (Matt 16:5 NIV)
Now that may not seem much of a problem in our day and age, but in the time when Jesus and His disciples were travelling, there weren’t bakeries on every corner! In fact, they often didn’t see bakeries for days! So forgetting bread meant a real hardship. Just like me, they were confronted with the opportunity to worry, and it didn’t help when their Master said:
“Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” (Matt 16:6 NIV)
Their worry multiplied exponentially then: “They discussed this among themselves and said, ‘It is because we didn’t bring any bread.'” (Matt 16:7 NIV)
Aren’t we all the same? So often our worry is based on our tendency to try and take the blame for anything and everything! What we should do instead is trust in Jesus!
“Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, ‘You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered?'” (Matt 16:8-10 NIV)
In other words, they still didn’t get what God was all about! And neither do we. Instead we worry over insignificant things that God will take care of. So often we miss the point. Instead, let’s remember that we were not born to be worriers. We were created to trust in our Heavenly Father, just as we trusted our parents when we were children. And let’s not forget the provisions God has always bestowed upon us. He is faithful and will see us through!
If you ever see two young men getting a bit too close to the edge of a dangerous waterfall, would you please let them know that their parents are waiting for them at the bottom? Thanks.
(To access the entire “Jesus’ Deepest Desires” devotional series, please click here.)