Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Spring of Joy


 I carefully braced my feet on the slippery bank, and wrapped my arm around the trunk of a tender sapling for extra stability. Then, with a leap, I was standing on a medium sized rock whose water smoothed surface emerged from the surface, looked rather like a giant loaf of brown bread. This stone on which I stood, rested in the center of a small pool which was surrounded on two sides by sloping rock walls, whose otherwise sheer surface was broken up by cracks through which the indomitable grasses had wormed their way. On another side was a bit of stone free woodland, and it was through the final end that the river had cut its narrow channel between rocks and under roots, leading to the world beyond. I suppose it continues to flow until it is either dammed up or, as most rivers do, until its waters mingle with the briny ones of the great sea.

     At the corner where the two rock walls met, there fell a rushing torrent of water, sparkling and white as it hurled itself over the rocks and dashed itself into the pool beneath.  As I stood and watched this continual and reckless descent, I thought how everyone thinks of a water fall as a joyful spot.  None weep for the waters as they cast themselves down from the heights to be shattered on the stones beneath. There is nothing in their downward journey to betoken sadness or grief.  Indeed, as many authors have remarked, the waters seem to find joy in hurling themselves down ever lower until their final engulfment by the salty ocean.
When I see a water fall and a stream, I often pray, that my life would be like the uplifting movement of the waterfall and continue to be useful and happy as the joy-filled stream.
    I think that we can learn much from the waters. We can contrast the vibrant activity of a waterfall with a stagnant pool which only receives but is never full and its waters flow from it yet benefiting no one, except perhaps, the plants in an indirect way, as the only way for it to go anywhere is to seep into the soil or be vaporized into the air.
    Many would say that in our lives, this would contrast usefulness to uselessness. But I would present to you, that it is a picture of contented, vibrant joy as opposed to selfish, discontented bitterness. 

    In Eleanor H. Porter's classic, "Pollyanna,"  the heroine makes an extremely simple and yet important point. While discussing the struggles of a preacher with a minister she explains how in a moment of particular discouragement, her father, who had also been a pastor, looked up all the passages in the Bible commanding us to rejoice; according to Pollyanna there were eight-hundred of them.  In her own words, "[Father] said if God took the trouble to tell us eight hundred times to be glad and rejoice, He must want us to do it--some."  This is an understatement; in Philippians Paul tells us to rejoice always "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!" And just in case we didn't get it then, he says so again in 1 Thessalonians, "Rejoice always..."  I agree with Pollyanna, if God told us to rejoice and be glad so many times, He must have wanted us to do it--always!
      Remember the waterfall. As long as there is water it never ceases to ecstatically cast itself down onto the rocks, always hastening down, and yet never bringing sorrow with its descent. Think of the trees, in the Autumn they drop their leaves and die and yet at what other time do they array themselves so brightly?  I once heard someone say, "The trees make dying look glorious."

    God had a message to impart to us through the dying trees and falling water, and when we have God's special care over us we should be the last ones to be complaining when even the trees and the waters know better!
      When you have to wash dishes for the "millionth time," look at the water flowing over your hands and remember the joyful stream.  "When your little brothers are being just too exasperating glance out the window and remember that just as the dying trees are beautiful, so to die to oneself is a truly beautiful thing.
       If you struggle with sleep at night, count your blessings instead of sheep. Remember the joy of each sparrow whom God cares for and know that He cares even more for you.  Rejoice always, eventually you'll find that, not only is joy contagious, but it will be a magnet to repel discontent and draw you closer to your Maker.
   He is with us all the way; we, of all people, should be the happiest in all the world!
All the way my Savior leads me,
Cheers each winding path I tread,
Though my weary steps may falter,
And my soul athirst may be;
Gushing from the rock before me,
Lo, a spring of joy I see.
Gushing from the rock before me,
Lo, a spring of joy I see!

He is with us all the way; we, of all people, should be the happiest in all the world!
Let us be a spring of joy that all the burdened, and sorrow-filled ones may rest beside our rivers and find comfort in our Christ centered happiness.


I live in North Carolina with my wonderful parents and seven siblings. I love music, theology and my Creator. I would love to know what you think about this topic, you can find me at christianna.hellwig@gmail.com or my blog at joyfullysinging.blogspot.com 
 And a big thank you to Rachel for asking me to write!

~Christianna Hellwig 


  1. Beautiful analogy, Christianna! I never thought about that before, but it's so true. He is good. Thank you for the encouragement today.

  2. Love it, Christianna! Such good advice and an important message, too. Thank you!


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And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”Colossians 3:17 (NIV)