Recently, my family had the opportunity to take a family vacation and enjoy some summer before our u-pick berry farm opens for the season. It was fabulous to get away, and it’s been hard to re-adjust now that we’re home. We visited 4 national parks in nine days; camped, hiked, laughed over a camp fire and spent plenty of time in a car together. The memories are those which will be carried with us forever, with pictures to prove it.
One of the things I really wanted to do on our visit to the Grand Canyon was to witness a sunrise, all by myself, and read God’s word. However, that desire of my heart was doubly blessed because not only did I get my sunrise, but one evening the four of us enjoyed a sunset together. Wrapped in blankets, taking in the dusky sunset and changing light along the Canyon walls. As evening set in and the sun was down, we headed back to our little cabin in the woods and enjoyed a camp fire with hot chocolate and watched the stars come out.
The next morning, I crawled out of bed around 4:30 in the morning and drove to the same point we had watched the sunset the night before. Not knowing exactly where to start reading, I thought what better than to read the creation story, or at least the part in Genesis 1. It was perfect as the first early light of day flooded the canyon.
“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. And God saw that it was good. And God separated the light from darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning on the first day.” (Genesis 1:3-5 ESV)
We know that the canyon was carved by water and time and all kinds of other geological factors. (Honestly, it’s kinda hard to wrap my mind around.) But to sit there and bear witness to the majestic land before me, knowing that it was the Creator’s hand which carved the canyon long before I ever took a breath, the scriptures held a fresh understanding for me.
“And God said, ‘Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.’ And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.” (Genesis 1:6-8 ESV)
Sitting there, reading, it dawned on me that the same Creator that carved the canyon before me, created me (and you). The same power, the same love, the same patience, the same creativity. His hand is always at work, molding and shaping us with an unchanging and unwavering love. The Holy Spirit is always carving us, like the river through the Canyon, to be more in likeness with the Creator. Sometimes, the molding feels like a tidal wave flood, while others times it’s more like a gentle seep spring within. But always at work, with a steadfast love.
As I sat there, taking in all of the grandeur of the Canyon, I thought about how differently God sees us compared to how we see ourselves. In His eyes, we are clothed in garments of salvation with a robe of righteousness. We are a royal diadem and crown of beauty in the LORD’s hand. And, just as we delight and rejoice at the sight and creation of the Grand Canyon, so the LORD delights and rejoices over me (and you). (Isaiah 61-62)
Oh, that I would be able to know and live as He has created me, an expression of His steadfast love. To be able to see, and treat, others (and myself) as His majestic and marvelous creations. For me, it is a new view of His heavenly creations. I’m so grateful for the time at the Canyon with my family, and with the Lord. And I’m grateful for the new opportunity and awareness to experience what His steadfast (and majestic) love is like.