On Saturday, May 13, 2017 during an unplanned emergency trip to NY State, I experienced one of the greatest wonders of God’s creation. I received a call earlier that week that my dad had developed a major blood clot in his leg and had several pulmonary embolisms. Since it was such a long drive and my husband was not able to take time off work, my best friend of 15+ years (Rae) dropped everything to come with me. I was panicked, and frustrated, and down-right emotional! My dad and I lost touch when I was about 9 years old and didn’t reconnect until a few days before my wedding day in September 2013. We had finally started rebuilding the relationship that I thought was gone forever, and now he was facing a serious health crisis that could have ended in death. Thankfully, he was discharged from the hospital a few days later. Rae and I had no plans other than spending time with my dad and stepmom. Since I had never met any of my dad’s family (that’s a long story – took my dad a 20 page letter to tell me) he wanted me to meet a few of my cousins. Their absolutely gorgeous, older home just happened to be fairly close to Niagara Falls so he insisted we had to go witness the beauty in person.
From the walkways and park on the upper level of the falls, I was impressed! It was mesmerising to see the water disappear as it fell. My dad, being the kind (and stubborn) man he is, insisted Rae and I ride the Maid of the Mist. It’s a boat on the American side of the Falls that takes you right up to the action. We were both a little uneasy about this boat ride. I mean, we could see the departure before our scheduled ride and saw the boat disappear into the mist, then reappear – exactly how safe could this really be? Against our own judgement, and with the urging of my dad, we decided to bite the bullet and take the plunge into the mist.
As we were standing in line, a nice woman handed us long plastic ponchos with hoods – odd to us that we would be wearing a bright blue body bag when we disappeared into a hazy mist, but hey, we had a good laugh about it. Our time came to board the boat and let me tell you, we definitely picked the wrong day. We were shoulder to shoulder with complete strangers, which wouldn’t be a bad thing back in 2017 but we were in a foreign (to us) state and already uncomfortable. As the boat took off, we quickly realized why my dad was so insistent. The beauty was only magnified by the change of view point. Now we were face-to-face with the bottom of the Falls. Now, let me tell you, I’ve seen a couple different types of waterfalls in my years but NONE even came close to this.
There are several different falls that combine to form what we know as Niagara Falls. The American and Bridal Veil Falls are on the US side, while the Horseshoe Falls, which is the most popular, is actually in Ontario, Canada. As we passed both falls on the American side, the wonder set in. It’s reported that and estimated 75,750 gallons of water per second flows over the American and Bridal Veil Falls. That’s a lot of water! Since I’m a math geek, I researched the drop rate – the water falls at roughly 32 feet per second, which means the force of these falls is 280 tons. 75,750 gallons of water fall at a force of 280 tons. Woah! We were amazed!
But hang on to your hats. We still had the Horseshoe falls to experience. Again, I did a little research for those of you who appreciate numbers. Approximately 681,750 gallons of water fall over Horseshoe Falls per second at a rate of 2,509 tons of force. That’s almost 9x the force of the other 2 falls!
Let me be completely transparent, with the emotional baggage I was carrying at the time, my appreciation for the sheer power I was witnessing was way out of context. While I was awestruck and even giddy over witnessing this very powerful creation from God, I feel I missed what God really wanted me to see.
Fast forward to yesterday when I was reading through day 1 of week 2 of a Bible Study my husband and I started over a month ago (Life. 🤷♀️). The scripture reading was John 7:37-44 about the Feast of Tabernacles. The 2 major elements of this event are water and light. As I was reading through the scripture several portions jumped out at me but it wasn’t until I answered a question in my study guide that God sent a revelation. The question – “There is no official “I AM” statement here, but list what Jesus does say about Himself.” My answer, summarized because that’s how my mind works – “Jesus says He is the Living Water.” As soon as I finished writing that last word, my mind and heart were flooded with revelations about Jesus being the Living Water. To name a few:
- Jesus was able to command the seas because He’s the Living Water whose Father spoke the seas into existence.
- Jesus was able to turn water into wine as a foreshadow of Him (as the Living Water) pouring out His blood for us. Water to wine = Living Water to blood
- We are baptized in water symbolizing the cleansing of our sins by Jesus Himself, the Living Water.
I have never felt a rush of awe and wonder for nature like I did when I stood face-to-face with Niagara Falls. I could feel the wind from the power of the water rushing over the edge, the spray pounding my face and pelting my plastic blue poncho. The roar was deafening and left me wide-eyed. The only thing remotely comparable to the mystical wonder I felt that day is how my heart soars in worship. To me, there’s no greater joy than worshipping my Creator, my Savior, my Voice of Reason & Discernment, but Niagara Falls was definitely an eye-opener for me. I witnessed the raw power of nature that God Himself created. The majestic wonder of nature created by the Majesty Himself.
My heart is absolutely soaring with these memories and new found context! I hope to someday revisit the Falls with all of this at the forefront of my mind. But, when all is said and done, the power that left me in amazement doesn’t even compare to the Power of the Living Water we have in Jesus!
May I invite you to do your own research on Jesus as the Living Water? Once you get a few scriptures under your belt, go through the many roles water plays in our lives – drinking, cooking, baptizing, fishing, bathing, etc. How often is water vital to our daily lives? Isn’t Jesus that much more vital?
-Walking in Renewed Vision by Faith & Finding the Blessings, Renee