Many years back, my family and I had taken a vacation to Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina. We indulged in many attractions throughout those states. If I recall correctly, we began our vacation in the Pigeon Forge, TN area. There is a large strip that runs through the middle of the town full of tourist attractions. Gift shops, restaurants, amusement rides, a go-kart track, a bungee jump, an indoor skydiving spot and many other to-dos. Not to mention, the whole area is surrounded by the beautiful Smoky Mountains. You can travel for hours through the miles of mountains covering several states.
I believe we were on our way to Myrtle Beach, SC at the time? This was nearly twenty-five years ago, so the details are a bit grainy. On our way through the Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN attractions, we set out on the highways that weaved through the vast mountains of the country. It was the first time I had seen anything like that! I’ve lived in a city in the Ohio Valley for the majority of my life. There is a lot of flatness with a few hills here, but we do have the beautiful trees. The combination of the lush greenery and huge mountains during that trip had me in awe. It was a nice break from being a young man who lived in a world of many struggles within myself, and the harmful addictions I possessed.
We were on highway 276 in North Carolina when we came to the beautiful Looking Glass Falls. It was the first time I had seen a waterfall in real life! I was ecstatic! I vividly remember being overwhelmed with excitement! I took the opportunity of wading through the pool at the bottom of the falls while someone took some pictures. We stayed there for a short time before departing to go about our long drive to the beach.
I have visited that same waterfall two other times since. I’ve been to the Gatlinburg area a total of four times within my life, and plan on going back again. My wife and I just took a peaceful vacation by ourselves, with no kids whining, to the area. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit. It was so nice to experience the fall landscape, nice weather and very relaxing content of our stay. It was also nice to see the same falls again. It brought back those memories of excitement when I had first experienced its beauty.
The falls were much different this time around.
When I was younger and visiting this place of peace, and even though I had experienced such great emotions while observing the beauty that it beheld, I was not really at peace within. This time, the combination of that inner-peace and the many joyous moments within my thoughts was a moment in time that has inspired me to write about the gift that God has given. The gift of the living water that now flows from within.
When I was on that trip twenty-five years ago, and the other few times I have been since, I was not yet aware of His Holy Spirit. I had not yet given my heart to him. I had not let His Spirit flow from my innermost being. This time, I saw something within those falls that I had never seen before; His providence. Does He not create such splendor? That beautiful waterfall, the innermost flow of Spirit, the grand emotions accompanied by the newness of peace found within His presence; is it not a life-changer?! His children know that peace. That richness. His wholeness. That wholeness which we could never find apart from His living water.
John 7:38 ESV
Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”
John 4:13-15 ESV
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
Revelation 21:6 ESV
And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.
Isaiah 44:3 ESV
For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.
John 7:37 ESV
On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.
Revelation 22:17 ESV
The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.
Jeremiah 2:13 ESV
For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.
Isaiah 58:11 ESV
And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
Revelation 22:1 ESV
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb
Revelation 7:16-17 ESV
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
We have real hope! We are welcomed to real joy! What could be more pleasing? He is inviting us all into His rest!
That day in the mountains was very pleasant with my lovely wife. We saw the great works of our Lord within that journey. We both know His water springs from our innermost being. We both enjoyed the presence of both that day while standing before the falls.
There was a time when we were apart from Him. We were sifting through those things of the world, trying desperately to fill the void. The void only He can fill. Our rivers ran dry, our mountains were too high to climb and the attractions were only temporary. Through Christ, all of the troubles of life are now washed away by His living water.