Monday, August 5, 2013


I realized during my trip that some of the most beautiful things I have seen are products of erosion and decay.

I read about how the Badlands were at one time a large body of water that eventually drained and dried out. And the red and pink and brown horizontal stripes tell the stories of its decline and the deaths of mighty sea creatures.

The paint pots of Yellowstone are formed from oxidized iron and hot gases constantly blowing and bubbling and mixing with the mud, swirling it into reds and yellows, and coating surfaces with orange bacteria and filling holes with florescent blue water.

The Grand Tetons were formed from volcanic eruptions and deposits.

Makes me smile and think of God's artistic grace... He created a beautiful and perfect world full of life, and sin came in and brought death, not just to humans, but to all of creation. But God's plans cannot be foiled - he gives beauty for ashes. As the world breaks down and falls apart, he causes even the pains of death to be redeemed.

And while I am so thankful for this, it really serves to remind me of the greater miracle of redemption in me. My muscles are weakening and my body is wearing out. And yet... my spirit is being renewed day by day, and God's power and strength are being made more and more perfect in my weakness. In fact, I think that the more dependent I become, the more beautifully his grace is able to shine forth.

It's that crazy, backward, upside-down, inside-out kind of life that Jesus calls me to live - I must become less and He must become more.

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