One of the fantastic things about God is that his love applies to all of creation and not simply humanity. Throughout the Bible, there are examples where God showcases and reaffirms His love for creation. To use an incredibly simplified metaphor, God is a kid on a beach vacation and creation is His sandcastle that He worked for hours on. In Psalms 45:4-5 it is written, “In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.” This verse shows that He is protective and devoted to ensuring that nothing harms His creation. And, more wonderful still, His protection is not out of spite or malice, but instead out of love.
Just past downtown, in north central Sioux Falls, you can find Falls Park, which is home to the inspiration for the city’s name. The Falls are quite an anomaly in southeastern South Dakota. Most of the surrounding area is a flat prairie and then, all of a sudden, you find rocky, hundred-foot waterfalls with an abundance of water, sounds, visual grandeur, and history. After large rains, the news stations show clips of the Falls so everyone can see their strength. I believe the abundance of the Falls, mainly the water, is similar to God’s love for humanity and creation.
Roughly 7,400 gallons of water from the Big Sioux River pour over the Falls every second. The power of water is quite a sight to behold. The sheer volume of water that pours and rolls over the quartzite is incredible to witness and is comparable to the love that God provides for his creation. When I am able to see the abundance of water in the Falls I feel reminded that God’s abundant love is always present. I find God’s abundance of love evident in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, for those who believe in him may not perish but have eternal life.” In this verse, God’s love for all of humanity, sinners and saints, pours out and washes over everyone.
I believe that God shapes each individual and guides them along their own life journey. The abundance of water that flows through the Falls has had a similar effect on shaping the river’s path. The water has managed to take over the landscape and carve out beautiful falls. Just as God’s love guides and molds his creation, the water of the Falls does the same the the rocks around it.
As a native of Sioux Falls, I visit Falls Park between four and six times a year for various reasons. Each time I go, I am able to witness the grandeur of the Falls and I am reminded of God’s love. I believe God put the Falls where they were as a sign that, even in the midst of the boring stretches of the Plains, you can still find beauty and excitement. The Falls’ Path has been laid and guided by His hands. When I visit the Falls, I feel at peace knowing that I am able to witness the abundance of God’s steadfast and unfailing love.
I am a junior biology major and a member of the Augustana Track and Field Team. After Augustana I plan on attending dental school and returning to the midwest area to practice.