If the birds were singing, I couldn’t hear them. The roar of the water rushing through the gorge drowned out all other noise. This wasn’t what I anticipated for my “quiet time”, but it is what I needed. My heart was just as tumultuous as the river. My thoughts were just as violent as the current. I was out of control in my life, my work, my family and especially in my relationship with the Lord.
My Bible lay open and yet I couldn’t stop staring at the river. For an hour I stared. The relentless pounding of the water on the rocks felt like a prolonged baptism smoothing the jagged edges of my soul. That aggressive cascade of water slowly chipped away pieces of the stone-like willfulness that I had carefully erected between my Savior and I. The roar of the water helped quiet my soul.
Then I saw it. The second rock, submerged beneath the torrent of water rushing all around and over it and the words of the old hymn came back to me, “streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.” No matter how long I sat and stared, that second rock was bathed in the river and the river never stopped coming. It didn’t let up or hold back.
Who would have thought that rocks in a river would teach me a lesson about what I have available to me from God Almighty on a daily basis: a never-ending stream of mercy. No matter how stubborn I am. No matter how unyielding of a piece of clay I am as the Potter continues to shape me, He has mercy for me without end. Mercy is His heavenly pardon and His unconditional love and kindness.
If I continue to hold myself just outside of God’s mercy, like the first rock, which lets the waters run around it and barely splash its surface, then I won’t feel the full extent of His loving kindness. Choosing to dive deep isn’t easy, but I want to be the second rock. I want to be fully submerged in His love.