If the Rocks Were Removed
By Don Ruhl
The brook would lose its song, if the rocks were removed
It is simply water cascading over rocks, yet the sound of a mountain brook is music to our ears. It would not be the same, if the rocks were removed. Think about it: the rocks help create the soothing sound.
What are rocks in a stream, but hindrances in the path of the brook? The water must fight to move on, so that what we hear as music is really a war being fought between the water and the rocks!
We are brooks, each one with his own song, because we each have our own rocks with which we must fight to go on in life. What would happen if the rocks were removed? The song in our lives would disappear, and we would reach the end sooner.
The rocks in our lives, the problems that we face, make us better people, if we learn to cascade over those rocks, as the brook does. When we learn to cascade over the rocks in our lives, to work with them instead of just being frustrated that they are there, then beautiful songs are created in our lives. The song of experience. The song of maturity. The song of stability. The song of wisdom. The song of strength.
These truths are contained in Scripture. “We…glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Rom 5.3, 4). “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (Jam 1.2–4).
God allows rocks to get in our way as we cascade through life, but He does not do it to hurt us, rather to make us better, and to give us the beauty of experience. The rocks show us that God is directing us, even as rocks in a brook help direct the course of the water. Maybe we are heading down a path that will only make us a stagnant pool, so God brings in the rocks that we may go in a direction that keeps us fresh, like water that rolls over the rocks. Frustration does not make the rocks go away, but only makes them greater, hence more difficult to go over.
The rocks also teach us of our need for God to direct our lives, as Moses told Israel: “So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord” (Deu 8.3).
Therefore instead of wishing that the rocks were not there, let us cascade over them, making beautiful music.