For Father’s Day my daughter took me for a hike on the Billy Goat Trail. This is a strenuous trail (three sections, each from 1.5 to 1.7 miles long) that runs along the Potomac River near Great Falls and Mathern Gorge, Maryland. My reminisce of that day is located here. The whole area is remarkably craggy and wild considering that it is only a few miles from D. C. About three quarters of the way through the hike we came to small gorge in which a small stream flowed into the Potomac. In the midst of all the rocks and boulders, a steady stream of water flowed out into the stony ravine shown in the picture below.
As we rested on rocks nearby I was reminded about how the Bible speaks a lot about God, water, and water sources. In many ways life is like that rocky trail, dangerous and demanding constant vigilance, and there is no guarantee that a fall could not prove disastrous. Indeed, several people have been seriously injured due to falls on the Billy Goat Trail. To navigate this rocky life we need wisdom. Proverbs talks about wisdom as a bubbling brook feeding the deep waters of who we are (Proverbs 18:4). Water sustains, wisdom sustains.
But in this particular section of the trail it was reminiscent of the statement in Psalm 78:16 where God brings streams out of the rocks and crags making the waters flow like a river. Scripture tells us that when God opens the rocks, water gushes out. (Psalm 105:41) It also tells us that it is God who knows the sources of the rivers and the hidden places. (Job 28:11) He makes waters flow from barren heights. (Isaiah 41:18) Those descriptions remind me of this and other places along the trail where water literally came out of the rocks and flowed into the Potomac.
I also thought about how rocky my ground can sometimes be, making it hard for the seed of God’s truth to find good purchase. But water, even in the rocky places, helps things grow, just like those bushes springing up amidst the rocks in my picture. As God continues to water my rocky ground more of his truth will grow, also green and strong, just like those bushes.
So, if you are feeling rocky in your faith lately, don’t despair because God can water your rocky ground with his wisdom and cause his fruit to grow afresh in your life. Grace and peace be with you today.