Oct 27, 2021 08:00am
The Waterfall Up Ahead

There we are in our little white water raft having the time of our lives. It’s a beautiful day – we couldn’t have asked for better weather. The rapids aren’t too fierce today, so we’ve got the thrill of riding them without the fear of ending up in the water. There are four of us in the raft, each of us with our own paddle. Working together has been a breeze thus far. It seems like everything is just perfect on our little adventure on the water. Nothing could go wrong.

Then we see him: an old man standing on the bank of the river ahead. He’s jumping up and down, waving his arms. As we get closer to him we realize he’s yelling at the top of his lungs. The more we watch, the more we begin to make fun of him. He must be off his rocker the way he’s flailing his arms and screaming at us. We can’t tell what he’s saying just yet but who would take this crazy old man seriously anyway?

The rapids continue until we’re almost close enough to hear his shouts. It sounds like he’s screaming at us about being on the water. Maybe he thinks we’re nuts for being out here. Maybe he’s had a bad day and has snapped and needed someone to scream at. Either way, we are very glad to be on the water instead of on the bank with him. He doesn’t look too stable . . . and the jokes in the raft continue.

Finally we’re close enough to hear him, and our hearts sink. As he jumps up and down, waving his arms to signal us, suddenly he’s not so crazy after all. Suddenly, this old man that we’ve been making jokes about in our safe little raft is a voice of warning that we should have heeded upstream. The concern in his eyes is visible now – his face is screaming louder than his voice. His arms are still flailing, even though he must be exhausted by this point. And his warning sends chills up our spines: “WATERFALL!”

By this point there’s little we can do to prevent the inevitable. Had we paid attention to him upstream and not laughed him off as a crazy old man, we could have paddled to the bank and avoided this disaster. Now, sadly, it’s too late. It looks like we’ll have to ride this one out and hope for the best – that hopefully we all survive the fall . . . 

Now back to real life. How many “crazy old men” has God placed in your life to warn you of the disaster to come? How many people who care about you and your future has He sent to flail their arms and yell at the top of their lungs in some way, warning you of the huge fall coming for you? If you can’t think of anyone, I submit that there’s at least one man.

God warns that what’s ahead for all of us is not a waterfall; it’s death. We will all face it – it’s an unavoidable reality. “It’s appointed to man once to die and then to face the judgment.” Two certainties in this life: We will die, and we will stand before God. That’s real, and that’s unchanging. What we’ve done with Christ and his grace-filled gospel here on earth will make the difference there.

So what about you today – 

Have you made the decision to ask Christ to forgive your sin and be your Savior? 

Have you then turned from that sin and to Him with your life? 

Have you made that decision public through baptism? 

Have you begun serving Him faithfully through the local body of Christ, the church?  

You can know Christ and be living in the midst of a life headed for a waterfall as well. Is that the boat you’re in? Do you know Him yet you’ve chosen to set out on your own in life, doing things your own way? You may have you proudly proclaimed, “I’m gonna just do me no matter what anybody says.” There’s just one problem with that: 

The river leads to a waterfall, and you can’t change that. 

Are you ready to listen to the voice of warning and paddle ashore before it’s too late? Which current are you being driven by today? Jesus – or your own? I challenge you to ask God to examine your life and reveal to you the answer to that question. And if the answer is “my own,” let Him fix that today. You can avoid the waterfall, but you must act fast. God’s ready to help you get to the bank. I pray you‘ll allow Him to lead you to the solid ground of Christ’s love and forgiveness.

That’s just a thought, and I welcome yours.
Until next time,

Copyright © 2021 by Blake Martin @ No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from