Let us talk about despair and an amazing waterfall
The Bald River Falls Story
My favorite waterfall in Tennessee is Bald River Falls. We found it as a family by accident as we were heading back to our home from Knoxville. We saw signs for a skyway, but found the waterfall instead. To me, it is an amazing site, I have seen it now in all four seasons and I am trying to see if once for every month. I have heard that the Tellico River, which the waterfalls dumps into, is one of the cleanest watersheds in Tennessee. I have even waded in the water near the falls itself. Basically the waterfall is amazing.
The waterfalls itself only takes a drive to see it, no hiking needed. Still, my wife and I decided to hike near the waterfall. You can hike behind the waterfall. Plus, there are small waterfalls along this hike. Now you are thinking, where is this despair in the whole mix of things?
Despair, it seems to be everywhere. The News seems to be more about despair then any encouragement. My theory is despair and destruction sells, so put in on the airways! Even our own life has many downs and dark alleys. I moved to Tennessee from Florida, and from time to time I was down, thinking I made the wrong decision (now I know this was a great decision). I have seen close friends and family die (some much too early in their life). I have interviewed for jobs that people thought I would be a great fit, and have not gotten the job. I have been on a preverbal one way dead end street at work and life in the past, and that leads to despair. Now, you too may have some events of despair in your life, or even worse, thinking your whole life is despairing. Luke 12:6-7 says, “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” You are not a mistake, not even close!
So, back to hiking. We went for about 2-3 miles one way and decided to head back to the car. We could have kept going, but decided to head back. One rule in hiking, whatever you hike to, unless a loop, you need to have the energy to get back. So, we started back and my wife started to cramp, and the leg cramps were getting bad. We were in a fit of despair. She was hurting, and it seemed to be no way around it, the pain was going to stay(That is 2 miles of pain with alternating elevations). We took a break, and what happened to come by, a couple and a dog. She was cramping because of a need for water. The couple had extra water, because of their dog, and my wife drank that water. Now, it seems weird, drinking the dog’s water, but they used a container to pour it into the dog’s basin. Still, we did not think we would be drinking the dog’s water. The Lord does not always answer our despair in terms we think would be ideal, but he does care for us. After the water, the hike was less painful and she was able to finish.
Now back to you (and me), how is your prayer life? I Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing,18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” That sounds deep, give thanks in all circumstances, even in fits of despair. Then, to pray without ceasing, another deep concept. So giving thanks can help? Yes it can. When the focus is shifted off of you and to the One who can change things, it changes your point of view. By praying constantly, you are in communication with the one who knows you the best and knows how things work out for you. We trust our doctors (most times) teachers, and parents (most times), but why not trust the Lord even more? Matthew 7:11 says, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Seems to make sense, doesn’t it? Now, when you pray more and have a thankful heart, all bad things go away? Not really. Matthew 5:45 states, “so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Also, James 1:2-4 states, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Sometimes, the trials are there to make us stronger in life. Not truly encouraging, but at least there is a plan.
What to do now? First, pray and be thankful. Second, seek help if you have fallen into despair, talk to someone please. Also, have others pray for you. Lastly, persevere as James recommends.
Lastly, if you can, go see Bald River Falls.