God’s Grand Creation

Sam Rainer

April 22, 2008

My wife and I head off to the Grand Canyon early tomorrow morning. I’ve hiked the backcountry out there twice before, but this will be the first time that Erin accompanies me. We’re both excited to get away and see one of the most majestic scenes in all of God’s creation – gazing at a sunset and sunrise from the bottom of the canyon up.

The Grand Canyon is special to me beyond reasons of sheer beauty. It was at the canyon a few years back that God finalized his call on my heart to become a pastor. A few of my church friends and I ventured on an epic road trip from Louisville, KY to the Grand Canyon, hiking it for several days, and then driving home through Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and Kansas. Twelve guys on an eleven-seat church bus was in itself an adventure.

After standing amazed at the glory of God’s creation, breathing in the magnificence of Northern Arizona, we traveled over the Hoover Dam and through Las Vegas, NV.

We stopped for dinner in Vegas, but we didn’t stay for a meal. Disgust replaced our appetites. We saw in stark contrast the grandness of God’s creation at the canyon to what man has created in Vegas, a portico of sin in a desolate desert.

It was through God’s general revelation of nature that He specifically revealed to me the next stage of my life – to pastor people. It was in Vegas that the weight of a lost world finally fell upon my shoulders. I felt the urge to beg and plead people to spend a day looking at the glory of God’s handiwork rather than wallowing in the filth of man’s masterwork. Watching people wilt in and out of blinking oblivion, I deeply wanted them to know the omnipotent Creator who brings life in the fullest.

The dichotomy between Vegas and the canyon is infinite – what God does versus what man does. It was on that trip that I experienced the gravity of worshiping creation over worshiping the Creator. All of the buildings in Vegas are mere facades – poor replicas of the real thing. After the exquisite adventure of the Grand Canyon (which included a narrow escape from an attack of killer bees), Vegas felt sinfully tame.

Perhaps Jim Elliot said it best in his diary, “The Lord made mountains to climb, not just to look at, and up there one understands why – seeing the vista that most folks never see, with the sense of farness that most never feel.”

Many in our communities are far from God – they are searching for meaning in mere facades. They are betting their lives on a lie from Satan. Grand fulfillment is found only in One – the Lord and Savior over all, Jesus Christ.

4 comments on “God’s Grand Creation”

  1. Jake Lynch says:

    I remember our trip to the Canyon. So much happened those two years. God spoke to (I think) everyone of us. He showed us how awesome of a Creator He is and how lost people are. I agree that trip helped spark the pastor in me to continue to see people come to know the Lord. I pray that one day my wife and I will be able to go and maybe even go with some of the original guys. God is great and His message needs to be spread to all.

  2. Have an awesome vacation Sam!

  3. Thom Rainer says:

    Your post reminded me again of one of the many reasons I am so proud to be your father. May our Lord continue to guide your ways. And I wish you would quit taking those Grand Canyon hikes! I have a nice walking path in my neighborhood and it is a lot safer.

  4. Sam Rainer says:

    Jake, Shane, and (my adventurous) father – the trip was great, and it’s good to be back home.

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