One of the most scenic spots in Oregon’s Cascade Mountains is the headwaters of the Metolius River.
Limpid water bounds over rocks, winds its way through campgrounds, past summer homes and giant Douglas firs, tumbling to lower ground. Fish swim, nose upstream, casting shadows over a pebbly river floor as speckled as themselves. Ducks and geese bob downstream on the choppy surface and preen in the sun on riverbanks starred with forget-me-nots. Mountain lupines and wild tiger lilies part as deer come down to drink.
Mature at birth, the Metolius River pours from a huge spring flowing out of a rock. Water from a higher spring trickles through fissures in the striated rock, past shrubs that have taken root in the crevices, by ferns, pinecones and moss to join the rushing, fully-formed stream that flows from the base of the rocky bluff. The Metolius seems to have no beginning. Suddenly, it just is.
The water level of this river varies only a few inches each year because the spring gives a constant supply. Pure water, crystal clear, is constantly emptying itself into the river channel, forever giving itself, meeting the needs of the land.
The Metolius illustrates Christ, who, worthy of worship by every citizen of earth, poured himself out for us.
Jesus, the monarch of kings, emptied himself of His rights.
He submitted his immortality to be enclosed in a mortal body prone to sickness and bound for decay.
He suffered the rejection and scorn of the very ones He came to restore to fellowship with His Father.
He gave His body, a living sacrifice, into the hands of ungodly men.
He submitted to the agony of one of the most cruel deaths known to man, relinquishing His life’s breath.
He shouldered the loathsome, stinking burden of my sin and yours.
He walked into hell so we wouldn’t have to.
He conquered death so we could live forever.
Now, He continues to empty himself in a continuous flow to meet your needs and mine. Each time we call on Him for help we partake of His virtue, the outflow of His constant supply for the needs of man. He is exceedingly worthy of our submission to His will.
When I submit to the will of the King I cannot go wrong–I am blessed.
In every valley I am accompanied by “the Way.”
In every shadow my path is lightened by “the Bright and Morning Star.”
In the cesspool of iniquity in which we live I sense the fragrance of “the Rose of Sharon.”
In sickness and pain I know “the God that healeth thee.”
When my load is heavy I am supported by “the Great Burden Bearer.”
When I am in doubt I am enlightened by “the Truth.”
When I am depressed I am lifted by “the Lord Most High.”
The King is my daily companion, my closest friend.
The King is ever flowing to meet my lack, rising to fill my void, emptying himself into my spirit as I kneel in submission before Him.
“The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14, KJV). Completely surrounded and saturated with God’s will, my life will pour out a wellspring river of water, permeating the dry dregs of human selfishness, touching lives who are longing for a cool drink of “living water.”