A couple of weeks ago my family went on a staycation to Jester Park (northwest of Des Moines). We had a wonderful time in nature and lots of fun playing games together. It was a good time to connect as a family. It was also a good time to connect anew with God. For me, vacations aren’t so much about going somewhere. They are about pulling out of regular life and noticing how connected or disconnected I am with those who are the most important to me: my family and God. Staycations are no different.
As we took the time away, I began to think about the truths that God has revealed during those times away. It reminded me of observations I wrote down a few years ago when we went to Arkansas to visit my uncle. Let me share those with you…
During our vacation to Arkansas I experienced both Psalm 19:1 and Psalm 139:7. In the same week we were 240 feet under the earth and 1,000 feet above it. What do these verses say? They declare that God’s creation reveals to us the glory of God. They also declare that we are never too far for God to be with us.
First, we went to Blanchard Springs Cavern near Mountain View, Arkansas. The elevator ride down to the cave made me smile. We were traveling the equivalent of a 24 story building straight down. The first cavern we went into was 75 feet tall. It was amazing. There was a column in the cavern that went from the floor to the ceiling. It looked as if the column was holding up the place. All around us there was beauty to behold. It truly made us feel small as we considered how deep we were and how big the cavern (that we didn’t even know existed before that week) was. I began to think about all the nooks and crevices like Blanchard Springs Cavern that there are in the world. Many of those places are unexplored. They just sit there as a home for small insects and animals. How big and creative God must be to make things like that all over the world. It was both comforting and awe inspiring to think that God is as much in the depths of the earth as He is everywhere else.
Our second adventure was up the side of Pinnacle Mountain. Although not tall by Rocky Mountain standards, Pinnacle Mountain is a tall enough climb for me. For any who don’t know me, I am not all that good with heights. We spent an hour or so climbing up the boulder strewn trail. As we were struggling up it, folks coming down kept telling us that the view was worth it. They were right. We could see the whole valley below us. We could see a river on one side and a lake on the other. We could see houses that looked like ant houses (if ants had that kind of house). Roads were ribbons in the landscape. It felt like we were on top of the world. The God-made beauty was all around us. The heavens were certainly declaring the glory of God. I had to just stand and drink it in.
Worship comes in all shapes and sizes. Let me encourage you today, don’t miss an opportunity. Whether it is the wonder of God’s creation or spending time with God’s people on Sunday, don’t miss out! See your daily and weekly times of worship as a significant way you connect with God. Breathe deep of the love and wonder of God. He is with you on the mountain. He is with you in the valley. He is even with you under the earth. I hope that truth can hold you and cause you to marvel with me today. May it encourage you if you are in the low place. May that truth lead you to praise the God who could make such wonders and still walk by your side.
Let me leave you with these thoughts from King David from Psalm 8, “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?” Don’t let God’s creation make you feel small. Let it remind you of how big our God is. Let it remind you of how big He is to you.
Something to think about,