Many summers ago, our family traveled out west to see the national parks. Among all of the amazing sights, the geysers were like nothing I had ever seen before. Old Faithful was the best of the best. Not only did it erupt nearly 200 feet, it faithfully erupted every hour. Each hour it was as if the earth exploded, unable to contain the boiling water pressing for release. There were lesser geysers. Those geysers erupted sporadically, usually reaching only a few feet in height. Waimangu Geyser in New Zealand is reported to have the largest eruptions, reaching up to 1600 feet, but it has not been active since 1904. Old Faithful has a unique combination of magnificence and reliability.
A geyser is an expression of what lies beneath its surface. Eruptions cannot be manufactured, nor can they be contained. I have known people who look good on the surface for a while, but after enough time they erupt. A temper flares or impatience surfaces. Who they are on the inside expresses on the outside. Others I have had the pleasure of knowing draw me like a magnet. They effortlessly exude kindness and presence. I want to be around them. I want to listen to them.
Many decades ago I found my faith through one such person. In reality, I cannot remember a single word he said. I remember his spirit. He was a senior in high school, and I was a freshman, and yet he paid attention to me. His love and joy in Christ overflowed and I wanted to be like him. He showed me Christ.
Old Faithful is both magnificent and consistent. We create the environment for our lives to become that kind of geyser. In Psalm 119, a 176-verse psalm of adoration and love, I see a testament to the kind of consistency and intensity with the Word that produces a geyser of love like I witnessed in Old Faithful. It’s not about always seeming to be happy or spouting off Christian jargon. It’s about investing more deeply in what lies beneath the surface than what displays on the outside.
At times, though, we are empty. Grief has worn us thin. Depression is our constant companion. Our lives feel like a parched, dry desert. We wonder whether there is anything under the surface. We fear the geyser may never break through the surface again. Here is the great, Good News! God is Old Faithful, magnificent and reliable. When we are weak, He is strong. He is our Refuge, our Rock, our Strength. He will sustain us when we have nothing left in the tank when we are at the end of our rope and hope is all but lost. He is the God of miracles! He binds up the brokenhearted and sets the prisoner free. He bids us, “Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you shall find rest for your souls.” (Matt 11:28-29)