I admit it. I’m a waterfall junkie. If there is a hiking trail that leads to any kind of a waterfall or even better, multiple waterfalls, I’m on it. Those of you who have been with me for a while know this as I’ve shared photos of the cascades I’ve visited in western North Carolina. That’s not to say I won’t hike other trails, but only if they lead to a mountaintop or along a rushing river.
I was pondering what draws me to these powerful displays of nature. Some of it is the challenge and joy of discovery after hiking down gorges or up steep mountains to come upon this glorious vista. I am mesmerized by the power, roar and outpouring of an endless supply of water flowing over the precipice and dropping a hundred feet or more to the rocks below. Where in the world does it all come from? I stood for a while watching individual sections of water thrown over the precipice and crash onto the rocks below.
At Dry Falls, which is of course a misnomer for anyone who has been there, you follow a path along the side of the gorge until you are right next to the cascade. At this point you can continue on through a cleft in the rock face and walk behind the waterfall watching it cascade literally in front of you. It is anything but dry. You can expect to get wet not only from the spray but from the water dripping off the roof of the cleft in that rock.
It is the cleft that I’m focusing on today. Standing in the cleft carved out of the rock, you will be mesmerized by the wall of water pouring down in front of you. Fortunately, there is a wall and a fence or I’m sure people like myself would try to put their hand out into the cascade. You are protected from its force, but not from its effect.
I was remembering my afternoon adventure at the falls thinking about the cleft in the rock. It reminded me of when Moses was discussing with God how he wanted the Israelites to know that God’s presence was with them. When God agreed, Moses then boldly asked to see His glory! This passage amazes me. Instead of striking Moses down for his impertinence, God showed him favor and deep love.
God says, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you.”* (Goodness also means: beauty, excellence, fairness, graciousness.) But God tells Moses that he can’t look upon His face or he will die. So He says He’ll hide him in the cleft of the rock and then cover Moses with His hand. Imagine what that was like! If I find a waterfall to be overwhelming, powerful and awesome, what would it have been like for Moses! I wonder if Moses silently said, “what was I thinking asking the God of the universe to show me His glory?” What’s interesting to me is that God didn’t rely on Moses to protect his own eyes. I bet if God had told Moses to cover his eyes, he would have peeked. Another demonstration of God’s deep love.
If I am literally speechless at the power exhibited by this waterfall, I can’t imagine what it was like to be in the full presence of the Lord even inside a cleft in the rock. Take some time to meditate upon what that must have been like.
The world is a dangerous place unless protected and governed by God. Our Lord is always beside us. But He is immortal and lives in unapproachable light.** So when you feel vulnerable or just needing His presence, ask Him to hide you in the cleft of the rock. It’s safe in the cleft. He is the Rock.
“The LORD continued, ‘Look, stand near me on this rock. As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.’”
Exodus 33:21-23 NLT
For a video of Dry Falls go to https://youtu.be/8sDBIQFYm64
Here is a video from behind the falls. https://youtu.be/0q4QDRbTKL0
(If they don’t open, try Control plus click)
*Exodus 33:19 NIV
**“…who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see.”
1 Timothy 6:16 NIV