Recently, Amber and I had the incredible gift of traveling to Big Sky, Montana with our sons Eli and Jonathan, as well as Eli’s wife Emma. (Our daughter Hannah was working a camp and could not join uss. No we did not kick her out of the family. She is still very much loved and was missed. ☺️) People ask how our trip was… It was heavenly. It was beautiful, awe inspiring, and full of God’s beauty. He revealed Himself time and again through the beauty of his creation. We took too many pictures in an effort to capture the essence of God’s glory we felt we were soaking in. Amber declared this time at Yellowstone and around Big Sky was her dream vacation because of the absolute beauty that God crafted into His creation.
So, here are some images and thoughts that contain some of God’s whispers. The pictures are stunning as I look at many of them again, and yet I know they can hardly represent in fullness what I witnessed first hand without the aid of a camera. As I looked and beheld, I knew God was speaking. He was calling, inviting, wooing, and pursuing me once again to see His beauty through the lens of His creation. I hope you enjoy the whispers – perhaps even a shout or two in here as you take in the second hand glory captured by an IPhone. Enjoy! He is there to be found.
Let’s call this – “His Chapel in the Sky.” Pulling into dinner one night, we parked near this beautifully built chapel. Well kept with simple yet tasteful detail, the building seemed inviting – a perfect little chapel where people can gather and meet with God. I loved the little man-made chapel, but was truly captured by the Heavenly handiwork above and around the chapel as the sun was going down. This was just one of about a dozen pics I took from different angles with sun still peaking as it was cresting behind the chapel and the mountains. The incredible BIG blue sky filled with clouds seemed as if it were all alive – speaking, perhaps singing and dancing in worship to Almighty God. I was fully drawn into the moment wanting it to never end as man’s chapel on the ground and God’s chapel in the sky converged in this moment of glorious sunset. Behold the skies; gaze upon the mountains in the background; see the trees almost stand in reverence to His majesty as His light in the sky fades at the end of another day. And the little chapel made with human hands invites us to worship and encounter the ONE who holds heaven and earth in his hands. Hallelujah!
I looked upon this canyon from many angles, and along many points of a several mile hike. Every new corner and turn was just one more chance to have one’s breath taken away. Looking down into the canyon, I felt small but not in a bad way. I felt overwhelmed, but in a good way – in the best way. I felt wonder in a holy kind of way… What do you say to this? How do you respond at a sight like this? Some in ignorance would choose to worship nature itself and it’s beauty for the sake of beauty. But no, while I was drawn to keep looking, my internal gaze was focused upon the King of all Creation. I felt I was in the Presence of Greatness. One may enjoy the beauty of the Sistine Chapel, but you know there was an artist who was behind the work. You might get swept up in the soulful sound of inspiring music, yet you know there was a Master who put the notes together. As I gazed upon this canyon, I sensed more than thousands upon thousands of years of erosion and the force of nature. No, I sensed the timeless nature of the Eternal God who has given evidence of Himself even in His created order. The canvas of creation should draw us close to the Creator. And I was… and it was good to sense His nearness, and to be embraced by His Transcendence and Immanence at the very same moment – beholding the mighty canyon and the river running through it. Behold our mighty God as His Spirit runs through our lives like Living Water. Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord!
When you witness beauty and greatness, you have to respond. Something inside of you must react with expressions of awe, joy, delight, and wonder. Wow! Oh my! Glory! It is as if part of the enjoyment of greatness is actually found in enjoying and appreciating the greatness! You just can’t hold it in. You were made to actually express your admiration for beauty and greatness. In such moments, we often look around to others to share the moment. Did you see that? Isn’t that amazing? It is more fun watching the Georgia Bulldogs win in a room full or stadium full of people than by myself. It as if the joy of a great play and great game is enhanced by sharing it with others, watching them share your delight in the triumph of your team. In a somewhat similar way, the joy of our trip to discover God’s beauty was made even more rich by sharing and soaking it all in with those we love. We gasped together in breath taking wonder. We shook our heads in amazement, searched for words to describe our emotions and reactions to the scenes that unfolded. Our delight in the beauty of Yellowstone and Big Sky was amplified by the delight we shared together. We each had our own lens of senses and experience to take in God’s handiwork, but it was all the richer to take it in together – to feel awe and wonder in the corporate sense of our family. Even talking about it again in the car ride home. That my friends is WORSHP. We each have our own encounter with God, but yet is made much richer when our delight in Him is amplified by the delight we encounter in others – and the delight that we share and sense together at His feet in His Presence. Yes, that is worship!
Right on the other side of Ole Faithful (yes the reliable geyser) in Yellowstone Park, I saw this bridge and path off a bit in the distance. It seemed to call to me. I wanted to go down the path so I could get to the bridge and walk across to follow the way of the path. It was like I had no choice. I was compelled. I wanted to go across to the other side. I felt another whisper. There was nothing overtly spiritual about the walk across the bridge other than the sweet satisfaction of a walk in the woods. Yet my spirit was connecting with the call to walk with Him. There was the invitation of God in this picture. It was as if I could hear the Lord calling, “Come away with me. Come and walk with me along the path I have chosen. My way is different than the world, but it is good.” Looking down and taking this picture, I just came in touch with my true desire to walk with God. I was not made necessarily to walk across that bridge. I was made, however, to walk with God – and so were you. Jesus calls us to His path, His way. And yet He is the Way. He gave his life, died for our sin, and is now the only one who can bridge the gap between us and God. We can cross over from death into life as we trust in Jesus Christ. Jesus is constantly calling us to cross over from our way of life into His way of life. His way is peace. His way is love. His way is forgiveness and grace. His way is found through faith – faith in His blood, and trust in His Spirit. I want to keep walking with God, going deeper and deeper into the heart of God. There is more… always more.
Did you enjoy that? Did you hear God whisper today? This was part 1, so come back for more whispers here on my blog as I have plenty of more pictures. More importantly though is to pay attention to the whispers in your own life. Shhhh. Slow down. Now, lean in and listen.