Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Grand thoughts in a deep canyon

Yesterday, my friends, Mary and Anna, and I spent the day hiking around the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Whenever they wanted to climb down a little ways or out to an outcropping, I sat in the shade and journaled. Here are some of the things I wrote...

"For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him..." ~Psalm 95:3-4

Father, your Word says that you hold the depths of the earth in your hand. It also says that if I tried to make my bed in the depths, that it is not too deep for you to be there with me. And later it says that nothing is too high or too deep to separate me from your Love. I'm thinking of these things because I'm sitting here on the rim of the grandest canyon I've ever imagined, looking into its vast depths that take my breath away. And as I hear the wind sing in the abyss and rustle in the tree tops and then sweep up to loosen the curls and strands of my hair around my face, I am comforted... because I have been lost in the depths for a while now, and the darkness and weightiness of it has threatened to crush me, body and soul, and at times I have wondered if I have gone too deep to be able to return... to hear your voice like I used to, to have joy and delight as I used to, to have the kind of hope I used to have. Will life ever be the same? Will you and I ever be the same?

No, I don't think it will, and I don't think we will either. And at this moment, I think you are trying to let me know that that is a good thing. I could stay on the surface, or in the shallower valleys of your love, and feel safe and confident in what I know of you. But it is here in the depths that I begin to realize and be amazed at how big, how deep, how vast, how grand Your love for me really is... and how grand you are. If I didn't experience the depths, I would never know that you were there too, and that you were holding even the lowest, darkness, most hopeless moments of my life in your hands. Your presence and your faithfulness are all the more awesome from this point of view.

The sun is setting now... I can see it visibly sink behind the far edge of the canyon, until only a golden haze and a dusky pink blush remain. I was wishing that You would speak to me out here today, that in the silence I would know exactly what you want me to do about everything that is holding my heart in the depths, that you would tell me how to get out of the depths, that you would show me where to place my feet and the paved path you want me to walk on. But today you didn't... you just reminded me that you see me in the depths, that you are with me and you are holding me... that no depth is beyond your reach. And that is enough for me to be sure of today.

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