A Devotional Thought by Linda Sommerville
Many summers ago, our family went camping at the Grand Canyon. I'd never been there before and for years my husband had wanted to take me there - it's one of his favorite places on the planet.
At the time, our sons were five and three and were thrilled at the chance to go camping! We tried to explain to the Grand Canyon to them and how awesome it would be to see it. They, however, were more taken with the idea of playing in the tent and having a fire. They could have stayed at the campsite playing all day. But, after much persuasion and bribery, we tore them away from their new playground to go to the rim of the canyon and experience its beauty together.
As we neared the rim, I could see my husband's anticipation mounting. He kept looking at us to see how awestruck and amazed we would be. When we came to the edge of this spectacular chasm the boys and I looked down, there was a brief pause...then they turned to us and asked, "Can we go back to the tent now?” I thought Phil was going to pass out.
Fortunately for my husband, I was more impressed. But it was as if the boys were saying, "Okay, we've been dutiful sons and did what you asked. However, we'd be much happier in our 8'X14' tent than staring at this giant hole. We like our world to be small and safe. Can we go back, please?”
That experience got me thinking – how many times have I done the same thing with God? "Okay, I've seen Him. Now, can I get back to my little world, please?"
What a tragedy! Because when I've really allowed myself to look into the face of God, I can't help but say, "WOW!!!!" It overcomes me. It changes me. I see His bigness and recognize my smallness. I see His goodness and it heals my brokenness. I see His provision in my life and it reminds me of my need for His constant care. I see a God who adores me and is crazy about me and will go to any length to be near me.
Unfortunately, I'm far too often unimpressed with God. I put too many restrictions on His access to my life. I put Him in a box and prevent Him from being the great big Grand Canyon God of my life. I say, "You can be God on Sunday mornings; You can be God when I'm hurting and needing comfort; You can even be God when it's convenient for me to pay attention to You. But, don't be this big, unpredictable, wild God of my life. Don't be the Ruler of the Universe who is in control of everything that I want to be in control of. Don't be the God who is always there, even when I'm not doing unto others as I want them to do unto me. Basically, don't be God of my life, because I want that job for myself.”
Today I want to encourage you, as I encourage myself, to let God out of the box. Spend time really focusing on who God Is. When we focus on His attributes, we will be changed more into His likeness. We'll loosen our grip on the controls of our lives and make room for Him to be the Grand Canyon Lord of our lives. Just as I found myself changed after taking time to really look at all the colors, textures and richness of the Grand Canyon, I'm convinced you and I will be changed after really gazing at the depth, height, and mind-blowing bigness of our God!
“To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.
…Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.