Beauty from Weakness

I recently returned from Ireland and learned that rivers speak to me in that beautiful country, just as they do in my country. The accent may be slightly different, but I can clearly understand a river’s message in any country. As I walked miles along the Avonmore River in gorgeous Glendolough, every so often I encountered waterfalls. The sounds were lovely and soothing, and the constant movement was mesmerizing. I had been reflecting on spiritual lessons from nature when I heard someone nearby say, “you know that waterfalls form from the weakest parts of the rocks.”

Really? I had not contemplated where they came from. I just enjoyed their beauty.

Erosion, or wearing away is a common process forming waterfalls. They also form from faults, or cracks in the Earth’s surface, often resulting from some kind of trauma such as an earthquake, landslide, glacier, or volcano.

So, I now hear the river tell me that some of its most stunning beauty often comes from wear and tear, trauma, and weakness. God continues to speak to me… through the river.

If you feel worn down, torn up, weak, and eroded…close your eyes and picture the most beautiful waterfall you can imagine. Listen carefully for the peaceful flow of waters, and remember that God can form your cracks, wear and tear, traumas, and difficulties into awe inspiring, jaw-dropping reflections of His grace, beauty, and glory. He simply must flow through those weak spots. Then, it’s quite something to behold.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor 12: 9-10)

(On this “Riverfront Christian Coaching” blog, I will share lessons I learn from rivers as they “speak” to me.)

The first waterfall pictured is from the Glendolough walk, the next one from Dublin, and the third is in Waterville Valley, NH.

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  1. Sharon pinter

    I want to sign up for your blog.

    • Jeanie Shaw

      Hi Sharon,
      If you log on, you should find a place for signing up. Let me know if you have any problem finding it. Thanks so much!

  2. Lory Demshar

    Very encouraging thoughts.

    • Jeanie Shaw

      Thanks so much, Lory!

  3. Lyn

    You are full of wisdom, been following your journey can’t wait for more wisdom from you.
    Lyn sister from Melbourne church

    • Jeanie Shaw

      Thank you so much, Lyn. This means a lot.

  4. Kitty Chiles

    I’m excited about this! Congratulations on completing the latest learning journey!

    • Jeanie Shaw

      Thank you so much, Kitty. You are always so encouraging!

  5. Kela Bolduc

    Now I know why I love waterfalls so much. Thank you for this encouragement and congratulations in this new begining.

    • Jeanie Shaw

      Thank you so much, Kela.


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About Jeanie Shaw

After retiring from forty-five years in full-time ministry, Jeanie Shaw went back to school to earn her master’s and doctorate in spiritual formation and discipleship. She also serves as a certified Christian life coach who loves helping people discover the joy, peace, and purpose that come from finding and following God’s plan for their lives. She has taught classes and workshops all over the world and has written numerous books. She has four grown children, eight grandchildren, and a golden retriever who thinks he is human. When she is not reading, writing, coaching, teaching, or enjoying her family she might be found walking along rivers, learning new lessons about life.

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