[Originally published as Don’t Just Observe God]
My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Job 42:5
A tour of the Grand Canyon from the South Rim is awe inspiring and…well…grand. We receive great joy witnessing the child-like enthusiasm that overtakes people as they stand at the edge (right at the edge) attempting to understand the spectacle of God stretching out before them.
Each overlook is an explosion of color, sounds, and immensity beyond comprehension. We stand and stare in disbelief, perhaps shedding a few tears at the power of God’s wrath and mercy miraculously woven into the majestic tapestry before us.
We drive from one stop to the next, always in awe of God and drawn to worship in response to what our eyes are attempting to take in.
We observe the canyon from one step away, drawn by its adventure and grandeur to engage it from within.
Yet, the canyon intimidates and challenges even the most daring of explorers. People often express their fear or desire to explore below the safety of the rim and see the wonders waiting for them. Alas, on this rim tour, they only have opportunity to observe and discuss. It inspires, but always remains safe.
I was recently challenged to consider the illustration this tour provides for the nature of our relationship with God.
Our life with God can easily be represented by the description of a Grand Canyon rim tour. How often do we simply drive from overlook to overlook, observing the grandeur of God and yet never engaging His depths?
We drive to the Sunday morning overlook. It’s a beautiful morning and God has never looked so good.
Our next stop is the Wednesday evening overlook. We sit and look upon God’s word with other faithful observers and see how challenging and magnificent it truly is.
Perhaps we include a third overlook for the week. This one may be the “do a good deed” overlook.
Every stop along the way beckons us deeper into the heart of God, deeper into His love and life for us. But the view is intimidating and challenges even the most faithful followers of Christ. The cost seems steep and it certainly doesn’t look safe.
A recent participant on a rim tour stood like a racehorse in the starting gates with eyes penetrating ever deeper into the wonders of the canyon below. He finally spoke with a voice rich with eagerness and anticipation and said,
I cannot just stand here and look at this Grand canyon. I have to get below the rim and on the river and see more!
Jesus did not die on the cross and defeat death just so that I could observe Him from afar, regardless of how much wonder, awe, and worship I attempt to include from that distance. His blood beckons me to embrace the cross and feel the rough wood rip open my own flesh. I want to know how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. I cannot just stand and look at my grand God. I must go on.
Don’t just observe God. His wonders have no bounds. His beauty has no limit. His love has no end. GO, brothers and sisters! Get below the rim.