We were recently on a trip to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park with Kelli’s family. Neither of us had ever been there before, and it was beautiful. We saw lots of wildlife, especially buffalo, and the scenery was not only amazing, but restorative.
Seeing God’s beautiful creation always brings such wonder and rest
to my soul. Another reason to love the fall, as if I needed one!
We drove through the Tetons a couple of days and each day was so different. The first morning a few clouds cleared to a crystal clear view of the peaks. So high, so strong, so powerful, so enduring.
Late in the day we drove back past the range along another road with a different vantage. Heavy clouds began to move in over the ridge, dark with rain. The tops of the peaks were obscured and you could no longer see their defining shapes as they blended into the dark clouds. There was lightning and rain as the storm moved through with a different kind of power.
The second day lighter clouds were more settled along the tops of the mountains and the strong shapes were lost in the gray of the sky.
It’s a lot like seeing God’s promises. On a clear day, free of trouble, we can see those promises of peace, strength, love, and well-being standing so tall. They look immovable and rock solid. We can look from different angles and see new details and wonders of God’s grace, provision, and sovereignty.
Then a haze descends over the land—busyness, distraction, fatigue, poor habits, and bad patterns. Soon clouds settle in over the peaks—sin, upheaval, chaos, monotony, or discouragement. Our view is lower and the promises are obscured and vague.
Then comes a day when the storm comes charging over the peaks—illness, death, tragedy, grief, loss, setback, failure, betrayal, or mistreatment arrives in our lives with a power that shakes us to the core. God’s promises blur and seem to disappear as darkness swallows up the peaks, the mountains, the entire landscape, and all we can see is the storm. “Where is God now?” we ask. “Where are His promises?” We look every direction and see nothing to help us focus our minds and hearts on His goodness.
Yet in all these things have the mountains moved or have God’s promises changed? No. Even the clouds of the storm can be the approach of His feet as He draws near. We must intentionally choose to see His presence in the storm. We must know that He loves us, and even this storm cannot overcome His hands and feet as He draws near to hold us close. We are under the shadow of His wings, protected, comforted, nourished, and never ever forsaken. We must choose to stay there no matter how loudly the storm is raging. His promises are solid, true, and real even when completely hidden from our limited sight, and they are fulfilled in His presence. He will never leave us or forsake us.