As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
A few years ago, my husband and I took an anniversary trip to Niagara Falls. We had heard and read about Niagara Falls. We had seen pictures and knew interesting facts about Niagara Falls BUT we had never experienced Niagara Falls!
Our first glimpse of Niagara Falls occurred as we drove past them on our way to our hotel. We were amazed how BIG and impressive these waterfalls were. In our hotel room, we had a spectacular bird’s eye view of the never-ending falls. When we slept, the waterfall didn't turn off. All night long, 3,160 tons of water per second kept flowing.
The next day, we got closer to the falls by walking on the sidewalk surrounding the Canadian side. The sound was deafening and the mist from the falls created heavy condensation on our sunglasses. We walked over the falls by crossing on the bridge that connects the Canadian side to the American side of the falls. In the middle of the bridge, my husband took a picture of me with one foot in Canada and one foot in America. I felt the wind produced by the falls.
Next, we explored the Cave of the Winds tour that took us 175 feet down into the Niagara Gorge where we stood behind the thunderous Bridal Falls and were pounded with winds up to 68 mph and buckets of water. (Bridal Falls is on the Canadian side and is one of the three waterfalls that make up Niagara Falls.)
Finally, we got even closer to the falls by taking a boat tour at the base of this iconic site. We wore raincoats with hoods, but we were drenched by the cold water spraying from the cascading falls. It was freezing and exhilarating!!
For five days, we EXPERIENCED Niagara Falls! We saw, heard, felt, and even tasted Niagara Falls. This was an amazing experience. In the exact same way, our Heavenly Father wants you and me to experience Him! Not only hearing about Him during a church service or a podcast or a short devotion book, but to hunger and thirst - and as the deer pants for streams of water, so our soul pants for Him (Psalm 42:1, NIV). “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6, NIV). He desires for us to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 4:8, NIV), and when we seek him with all of our heart, we will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13, NIV).
The Lord wants us to be close enough to Him that we get sprayed by His cascading love that He lavishes on us. And, as Chris Tomlin sings, “His love is like a waterfall…raining down on me.” God’s unfailing love for you is significantly more powerful than the Niagara Falls - let’s explore him in as many ways as possible!
Weekly Memory Verse
My precious husband, Bill, and I have been planted in Fort Myers, Florida for almost 35 years. As a newly married couple, God most graciously had placed people in both of our jobs to share Christ with us. Its hard to believe it has been almost 34 years since we asked Jesus into our hearts! Bill and I have been blessed with four children, 3 daughters, then a son. These blessings came quickly, all within 6 years!! During these years I'm so thankful I was able to be part of women's ministry classes at our church, helping me to grow in my walk with Him. Then came the day when I was asked that question that stretched me way outside of my comfort zone...will you teach a class? Its hard to believe that I have now been teaching more than 20 years. Bill and I love to travel, most of the time going to visit our 9 grandchildren, oh ya, and their parents! I also love reading, walking and hanging out with some very special young moms in Beloved that bless my socks off!
Julie is a Kansas girl who resides in sunny Southwest Florida. She's been married to her husband Sean for 23 years and they share two boys ages 21 & 17. She enjoys baking and biking, but her absolute favorite thing is snow skiing which is a little difficult to do in a sandy 80 degree land.
She became a follower of Christ at age 10. She loves studying and teaching God's Word. She has a passion for encouraging moms to love and follow Jesus.
Beth grew up in a loving home; however, in her early 20s she faced a very lonely time. During that time, she cried out to God and asked “If You are real, please show yourself to me!” God met her where she was and she trusted in the Lord Jesus at that time. Her life verse and desire is “no matter what happens, to conduct herself in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27
Beth now resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband Larry. The Lord has blessed them by blending their family of five children. They currently have eight grandchildren and are hoping that there will be more grandchildren in the future.
Donna accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of nine and has been amazed at God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout her life. She has been blessed to have had many mentors through each season of life, who have shown her what trusting God looks like. Donna and her husband, Bryan, make their home in central Arkansas. They have five grown children and are grandparents to wonderful grandchildren. Donna enjoys spending time with her family, laughing with friends (usually over coffee), going for long walks with her husband, and reading a good book (which may also be accompanied by a cup of coffee).
Sarah is a true Florida Cracker. She was born and raised in Southwest Florida. At the age of 6, Sarah accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and she hasn't looked back since. Hebrews 13:8 is one of her favorite verses, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Eating delicious desserts, spending time with her family and friends, and teaching people about Jesus are a few of the things she enjoys to do in her spare time.
Sarah has been married to her best friend and husband, Brandon, for 7 years. They have been blessed with one beautiful, determined son, Asher, who keeps them on their toes. Sarah and her family live in the Tampa area. They love exploring their community together, family hugs, and eating pizza whenever possible.
Katie Flint just recently moved back home to Fort Myers, Florida with her husband, Ryan and two children, Collins and Madden. At the age of 5, Katie accepted Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of her life, after attending Vacation Bible School. Through each phase of her life, God has shown her that He alone is trustworthy. The verse that has been her life source is Psalm 46:10- “Be still and know that I am God.”
She is a stay-at-home mom and enjoys exercising and baking. She has been married to her husband Ryan for almost 9 years, who is her high school sweetheart. They enjoy trying new restaurants, family trips to the beach, and relaxing at home.
Marsha grew up in a small rural town in upstate New York. In 2006, after finishing college, she moved to sunny SW Florida where she met her, now husband, Shawn. Together they enjoy spending family time with their two fun-loving toddler boys Zachariah and Kairos.
Marsha enjoys living an active lifestyle, which is helpful, considering that her favorite hobby is baking.
Though she attended church as a child, Marsha was not saved until adulthood when her eyes were finally opened to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Since being saved, God has placed a loving burden on her heart to share the truth about God’s healing grace with those who may feel like forgiveness is not possible for them.