Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Canyons that Rivers Make

This past week I spent a lot of time in canyons (a simultaneously beautiful and frightening experience) thinking about life and God and everything in between. It seems that this is always the case with nature- it enables me to leave the chaos of life behind and breathe more deeply, to think more clearly. So it was as my parents and I were hiking to the bottom of Canyon De'Chelly in Navajo nation that we began contemplating what this beautiful canyon revealed to us about God.

 For my mother, she reveled in Psalm 8:3-4. She was amazed that the God who created the universe and the canyons still cared to be mindful of her. A God so big still cared about someone so seemingly small.
My father was amazed by God's creativity. The way that the water had eroded the rocks into works of art was incredible. As we got deeper into the canyon the type of rocks and their patterns would change and there were trees growing out of complete rock. At the bottom of the canyon there was a beautiful stream, and my dad marveled at God's creativity, that He had thought to provide us with such beautiful sights. 

But I began contemplating the history of this place and the way that the canyon was made. Hundreds or thousands of years ago this canyon did not even exist. In its place was a river, maybe a flood at one point, and over time the water etched, and moved, and rode away the rock to create the beauty that now surrounded me.

And it made me realize just how much our God is a "big picture" God. When people were using the river as their hydration, their place to wash, their life source, they could never have imagined that part of this river's purpose was actually to slowly etch out a canyon that would be a marvel in hundreds or thousands of years.

The small purpose was certainly of no less importance, but who could have guessed the greater vision? Who could have seen what God planned to do with the river in the long term? They saw a river but God saw a canyon. 

It seems that the same concept applies to my own life, and I am sure you will be able to relate too. My life is made up of seasons- good ones, hard ones, sad ones- and in the moment I cannot see God's greater picture. But every experience, every season, is a river etching away and building the canyon I cannot see or imagine. Every curve of the river is part of creating something new and beautiful.  I have to trust in what I cannot see. I have to believe that God is molding something beautiful out of the flow of the river that is my life, because this is all part of a purpose that is so much bigger.

It is about perspective really. God sees the future of the river and the beauty of the canyon, and He knows it will take time to create. We must learn perspective, as well as patience, and trust in the vision we cannot yet see because He is creating something beautiful.