Great Falls Montana, built up along the banks of the mighty Missouri River, was once the site of five mighty water falls. Discovered and named by Merriweather Lewis and William Clark in 1805, the falls, as you work your way upriver are known as:
1. Big Falls (also known as the Great Falls), with water falling 87 feet;
2. Crooked Falls, with water falling 19 feet;
3. Rainbow Falls, with water falling 44 feet;
4. Colter Falls, with water falling 6.5 feet;
5. Black Eagle Falls, with water falling 26.5 feet
For a pair of travelers who love water falls, it sounded like the perfect place for us, and we pre-arranged four nights in a nearby campground.
What we didn’t realize is that only one of those water falls, the Crooked Falls, still exists in its natural state, and even it is partially submerged.
Because dams have been built atop three of the other water falls, and in the process, Colter Falls was completely submerged.
Volta Dam was built on top of the Great Falls in 1915, and later renamed Ryan Dam.
Rainbow Dam was built in 1910, submerging Colter Falls.
When Black Eagle Dam was built in 1890, half of the Black Eagle Falls were submerged.
I, for one, was disillusioned. Oh, you could still see the water falls in all their splendor, but the towering dam just at the top of the each doesn’t exactly add to the poetic nature of the place…
As I stood at the viewing platform for Ryan Dam and the Great Falls, I couldn’t stop the disappointment. I pulled out my camera anyway. Surely there would be an object lesson in this somewhere…And as I raised it to my eye, I realized something mightily important: All the camera saw was the splendor of the falls!
You see, my camera doesn’t have a wide enough angle lens to capture the towering dam above! All its current lens could see was the water itself! As a result, the pictures of the Great Falls are beautiful!
It made me think. When problems arise, they tend to overshadow everything and they capture our entire attention. But just like I could see the beauty of Great Falls once I pulled my eyes away from the dam, when we take our eyes off of our problems, we will find that God’s blessings still abound.
Has He not promised that, “he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deut. 31:6b NIV)?
Has He not promised that He, “… causes everything to work together for the good of those who love [Him] and are called according to his purpose for them” (Rom. 8:28 NLT)?
Whatever it is you are going through right now, no matter how bleak things seem, try to take your eyes off the storm. Put them instead on the One who is holding you in the palm of His hand. When you do, you will see how the many beautiful signs of His love for you still abound.
And the next time you find yourself in Great Falls, Montana, standing at the observation point for the Great Falls, get out your camera and zoom it to block the towering dam atop the water fall. You’ll be amazed at how beautiful the water fall actually is, once the dam is out of your viewfinder!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, andScriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, withAnswers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.