The Torrent

April 29, 2020
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Listen while you read: "O Happy Day"1 (Lyrics)

Each spring, the melting snows flow into the Madawaska River. From its source in Algonquin Provincial Park, it spills from lake to lake, punctuated by hydro dams along its course, until at last, it meets the Ottawa River. The lakes rise and break their chains of ice, and one by one, the hydro crews open the dams to release the pent-up waters to the waiting lakes below. Often, the dams are frozen and coated with manacles of ice. My brother once filmed the opening of Mountain Chute, one of the dams. The force of the released torrent cracked the ice wall like crisp candy, and it crashed with fury and great splashes into the water below, with a deafening roar.

Such powerful forces of nature were known to the prophet Habakkuk.

Habakkuk 3:10 – The mountains saw you and writhed; the raging waters swept on; the deep gave forth its voice; it lifted its hands on high. (ESV)

He wrote at a time when, in anxiety and confusion, the nation of Israel waited for an oncoming Assyrian invasion, and the people were very afraid. Yet, Habakkuk knew that God was still looking after His people.

The torrents of water are strong, but our God is mighty, and has intervened to save His people many times in the past. God is merciful, a Saviour who rescues us when there seems to be no hope.

Psalm 103:8-9 – The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. (ESV)

God is our Saviour, who has given His Word and is to be trusted.

Habakkuk 3:17-19a – Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength. (ESV)

Today, if we are glancing around in anxiety, let us remember God's mighty salvation, His rich mercy, and His worthiness of our trust.

Prayer: Dearest Lord, as a little child relies on a care beyond his own, knows he's neither strong nor wise, fears to stir a step alone: let me thus with Thee abide, as my Father, Guard and Guide (John Newton, 1725-1807). Thank You, dear Lord, for Your strength, mercy, and presence each day of our lives. Amen.

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About the author:

Shirley Moulton <>
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    Thanks, Shirley. Good counsel in today’s world.

    Thanks, Shirley, for the words of encouragement.

    Beautiful and uplifting message, Shirley. Our focus becomes precious.

    Thank you, Shirley, for sharing this comforting reminder of God’s loving provision. Blessings.

    Thank you for your comforting words. My father is having a serious surgery tomorrow and your post came at a good time. God bless!

    Always love the detail and depth of your devotionals, Shirley. Especially from little known Bible. I kept imaging, though, naming a child Habakkuk. Not in our times, I guess.

    Right on Shirley!
    Thanks for this very timely Daily Devotional!
    Bless you every day and in all ways!

    Dear Shirley,
    Thank you for a very blessed and blessing devotional.
    I couldn’t decide which part I most appreciated, then I thought I appreciated it all.
    God bless you; keep writing.

    Shirley: your description of the spring water flow brings the event alive in my imagination.
    As a fellow citizen, I thoroughly enjoy references to our surroundings, this classroom with which God has gifted us.

    Good morning Shirley
    Another good devotional this morning. You sure have been inspired to write this month, and there are words of truth in all of them, good words to remember during these difficult times.

    Dear Shirley:
    I felt such a burst of joy while reading your devotional that I had to share it with you. I hope you can feel it bubbling up in you too.
    Thank you for your wonderful words of encouragement to us all.
    May our Great God bless you and keep you safe and healthy.

    Dear Shirley,
    I’m from Ontario and fly regularly to visit elderly parents. I love the Muskoka’s and Algonquin Park area and enjoyed your description of the power seen in the spring breakup of ice. Even more, I was blessed by the way you encouraged us to put all our trust and hope in the power and goodness of our God in this time of anxiety and uncertainty.
    “God is our Saviour, who has given His Word and is to be trusted.”


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