By Sarah Christmyer


Clinging to the rock under the pounding spray of the waterfall is a delicate columbine. How did it get there? And more to the point: how has it managed to flourish? It’s not big like those on the bank, but already a tall, thin stem is holding a bud up out of the spray.

No one planted it there. A seed must have blown there on the wind. How easily it might have landed in the water to be carried away or dashed against the rocks. But here it landed, took root in the moss and grew.  The tiny flower bobs before the splashing falls, whether afraid or exulting in life – it’s hard to tell!

I feel like that flower sometimes.  Hanging on for dear life, feeling the spray behind me, water swirling all around.  Watching it, I realize that credit for this columbine’s life goes to the things that make its situation look precarious: the rock and the water.  The rock provides a stable landing place with moss for it to grip and feed on. The water splashes and pounds, yes – but also gives it life.

The people of Israel often compared God to a rock (and Jesus is, of course, the living water!). Over many generations, the Lord proved that he was a strong and faithful, everlasting refuge for those who love him. If you feel today like that tiny seed thrown into the watery chaos, or like that fragile plant looking over the edge of a cliff of trouble, you might find comfort in one of the following psalms. It helps me to repeat them over and over, learning the words by heart so they echo with comfort and assurance throughout my day.

Psalm 61:2 is a good place to start—

“From the end of the earth I call to you,
    when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock

      that is higher than I;

for you are my refuge . . .” (NRSVCE)


There are others: Psalm 18:31-33; Isaiah 26:4; Psalm 31:1-3; and Psalm 94:22 to name a few. Spend some time in his Word today, and be strengthened.


Lord, thank you for the rock you place beneath me, the way you refresh and nourish me in such unlikely ways.  When I feel fragile like this columbine – please set me high upon your rock!


About the author:

Sarah Christmyer is co-developer and founding editor of The Great Adventure Catholic Bible study program. The author of numerous Bible studies and several guided journals for Bible reading, she speaks at conferences and retreats on topics related to Scripture and the Catholic faith. She teaches at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia. Follow her blog at



Photo courtesy of Sarah Christmyer.  Used with permission.  All rights reserved.