Woodland walks can be a great source of inspiration. The quietness allows room for thought and the surroundings give evidence of God’s goodness in creation itself. It was such a setting that captured my attention a few years back.
The forest was showing signs of fall’s arrival and the departure of what had been a very dry summer. I noticed the effects of drought even under the shade of the manifold trees. Streams that normally cut their watery path through the woodlands had been reduced to a trickle and only a few deep pools remained that sustained aquatic life. I knew rains would fill the streams again, but for now the landscape was parched.
Standing on a small bridge that crossed the usually abundant water, I had opportunity to take in a sight formerly hidden by it’s flow. There, in the nearly dry bed, was an array of impressive rocks and stones distinctly varied in color and shape. The setting was remarkably beautiful and caused me to think of the words of Jesus in the 19th Chapter of Luke.
Only days before He would face the cross, Jesus entered Jerusalem seated upon a colt. The crowd of disciples, seeing Jesus, began openly praising God for all the miracles they had witnessed. “Blessed is the king who comes in name of the Lord!” they shouted. “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” But not everyone in the crowd shared their enthusiasm. The Pharisees weren’t happy at all with this demonstration and they approached Jesus with their disapproval. “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” His response must have stunned them. “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” Jesus was unapologetic. This was the right response and, if mankind would not acknowledge their Creator, the rest of creation would. It should come as no surprise, for without audible voice, nature proclaims His majesty.
I stood quietly taking in the rocks of the stream bed and the stones along the wooded paths. They rested in their place as a silent testament to the Master’s designing hand. How could such cold and lifeless objects express such beauty and appeal? The answer is found in the One who rode into Jerusalem. Here was the Creator of heaven and earth and, for a moment, the crowds shouted their praise and nature was silent. It would all change in a matter of days.
The Man to whom the crowds offered praise knew events would turn against Him. Yet He rode on. This was only a part of His intentional journey. He was moving toward a cross … and a tomb where He would overcome death. Soon the ground would shake and the stones would, indeed, cry out.
It causes me to consider the great, and unexpected, rumble that will be heard on the day Jesus returns. Some will rejoice in their long-awaited Savior. Others will tremble in fear of Him. The responses will be determined by the earthly decisions for or against the Christ, but in that moment, the debate will be over. Truth will shake the foundations and heaven and earth will cry glory to the King of kings and Lord of Lords. The time is drawing ever closer and our testimony matters.
I have no intention of letting the stones cry out in my place. How about you?