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  • Kerry Teravskis

Wonder... Power... Majesty...

The gift of suffering

Wonder...Power...Majesty... In the last 10 days our family traveled 2550 miles, sat 56 hours in the truck and consumed 215 gallons of diesel fuel! How can that be possible? Well, if you were to ask my sitting muscles, they would tell you that they felt every one of those miles! We just got back - last night, from our Ultimate Geology Field Trip 2016. My husband John had been teaching Abbey geology all this school year and he wanted to cap it with a trip to study erosion, evidence for a worldwide flood, and the ice age. We hit the road with our trailer and truck packed, our itineraries planned, and many prayers for God's favor as we headed southeast.

I will praise You, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders. Psalm 9:1

Do you know something? Our God is a very creative God! On a VERY grand scale as well as the most minute. I want to tell of the wonders that I saw. I saw mountain peaks 13,000 feet high. I saw dirt in many different colors - red, purple, blue, white, brown, green and black. I saw water the color of turquoise, the Little Colorado River, as well as brown, green and sparkling bluish-green. I saw gorgeous vast meadows, as well as dry, dry deserts. Wildflowers growing where there was not an an obvious source of water. I saw fossils in the Coconino sandstone that were laid down as the flood waters were receding after Noah's flood. The hoodoos of Bryce Canyon magnificently displaying a deep orange color against the background of layers of rock in the Grand Staircase. The sunsets. What can be more beautiful than the sun setting over the Grand Canyon? Unless, of course, it is setting over the ocean in Hawaii. Then there was the sunrise. I had not intended to be awake at that hour. It was 4:50 a.m. And my family had gone off to hike the South Kaibab trail, I could not get back to sleep. So, I witnessed the dawn of a new day. Then there's the people. And each one is made in the image of God. So many different faces I have seen in the last month. And the languages that I heard! A conversation between family, husband and wife, child and mother, siblings and the laughter between friends. The cry of a raven or the song of the finch. The wind blowing up from the deep canyon past us as we sat on the rim. The roar of a small airplane engine as Andrew and I flew over the Grand Canyon - now that was an experience. It was a very bumpy ride with bumps going up and down and sideways. But the view. To see the power of God from that vantage point is breathtaking! For me, it redefined the Grand Canyon because I got to see firsthand the power of God. There are huge chasms in the earth. This is the result of judgment.

God told Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth." Genesis 6:13

And God kept His promise. It was the receding waters that laid down the sediment which are the layers of rock in the Canyon. I saw them with my very eyes. There are sea fossils thousands of feet above sea level. I saw rock that looked like fudge as it is cooling - try making fudge and have it pour out your pot. Watch it spread out and dry. That's what Zion National Park looked like in many places. But what I kept thinking about as I was looking at the wonder before me was not judgment, but beauty. It is ABSOLUTELY beautiful. Beyond description really. One has to see it for oneself to fully grasp the wonder, the beauty. Here was something that is the result of judgment and destruction and I came 2500 miles to look at it for its beauty. How can this be?

Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it to completion until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6.

God has a plan. What I see may be destruction, chaos or even pain. But God is at work. Now, He does not tolerate sin, but He does allow circumstances in our lives to shape and mold us. To conform us to the image of Christ. If there is a sin issue, He will allow a flood, so to speak. He will root it out of our lives. It could take a major catastrophe with some deep scars, or if we allow Him room early on, He can sanctify us in a different way. I was going to say a less painful way. But that simply is not true. One thing I have discovered in the last 30 months is that the sanctification process is painful. It hurts. It causes bleeding. Tears. Scars. But. Also in the pain there is beauty. There is a new landscape. A new sound. And even some fossils. You know, memories of our old life. Evidence of God's hand before. But now, there is evidence of God working at the moment.

You see, God can be so powerful and so majestic on such a grand scale, but yet He sees each tear that falls. He counts them. He knows when a sparrow falls. He knows when I fall. And He anoints my head with oil. There have been so many times when the enemy has wanted me to forget this. So many times when he has wanted me to doubt that such a big God has time for me. I am just one in a billion, trillion. I am nothing. But those are lies. I too am made in the image of God. I too have a plan made just for me. A road marked out for me. Gifts to be given just for me to be used for Him. A new song in my heart. A new view to see with better fitting glasses, glasses that are filled with the Bible and all that has been promised to me. God never promised me life would be easy.

That is promise made by the enemy. A pie crust promise - easily made, easily broken. God DID promise that He would mark out my path, He would walk with me and He would give me everything I need to run and not grow weary. He promises that He would give me the Holy Spirit to be in me to guide me, comfort me and help me to understand. If I was to honestly look at my life I would be able to say that there is beauty. Is that easy to say. No. It is very difficult. But there is beauty nonetheless because I CAN see God working in me. Even though it does not make sense, there is beauty in the pain. I have a new song in my heart. A new landscape to look at - opportunities to serve Him and love Him as I tell others of His love and wonder and power. I know that these seem highly unlikely because I want pain to go away. But, what has happened is that in the midst of the pain, I have found something I didn't have before.

A deeper love for my Saviour. And I can say it is worth the pain.

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