I have come that you might have life, life to the full.” (John 10:10)
Standing next to the stone border that marked safe footing, my little grand daughter and I peered into an abyss of clouds that shrouded the incredible masterpiece. So close, we eagerly strained to see what the wind and water had carved over the millennia. Staring down into the greyish lavender veil, we could see a depth of red, burnt orange and deep blues breaking through. All of a sudden, I heard the precious girl next to me gasp as the Grand Canyon opened up before her! She could not help but smile, stretch out her arms and jump up and down. It is one thing to read about a wonder and quite a different experience to stand in front of it and feel its power surround you. Watching her delight and utter amazement blessed me. She didn’t try to understand it, she simply received the gift it offered and danced!
There is something about these kinds of experiences that splash us with glory and offer us a gulp of life to the full.
For many years I understood “fullness of life” to refer to a life lived “happily ever after”— no worries, no pain, and a picket white fence! When suffering did arrive, I didn’t know how to make sense of it and, even more troubling, I didn’t know how to make sense of God. I think part of the problem was with my expectations of God, what He should do and how He should do it. I tend to forget that He is always up to something far beyond anything I could ever imagine, like Grand Canyons and massive rock walls layered in color and, little girls who remind me how to dance before beauty! When I stop trying to control God and simply stretch out my arms in faith, I find myself at peace and open to receive the gifts God offers me, in all their unexpected packaging!
When Jesus said he came that we might have life to the full, did he really mean He came that we might have God?
Are Grand Canyon moments designed to take our breath away and help us stumble over the One who IS our fullness?
It would explain why we discover hidden in beautiful canyons, great music, tasty bites, and blessed friendships, a shalom* that fills us fuller than full! We drove hours and hours to get to the edge of this indescribable wonder, and when it opened up before us, God spoke! To a little girl He said, “I am here, deep and wide and beautiful! Let’s dance!” To me, her Nana, He said, “I AM fullness of life! Behold, bow, stretch out your arms and be filled!” And, as I stood in silent awe, I heard, or did I imagine Him whisper, “And, daughter, you are not too old to dance!”
“Thank you, Father God, that you came to give me life to the full! Help me follow beauty to your throne room, delight to your face and trials to your arms. For the Grand Canyon and all the ways you announce who you are, I am so grateful! Fill me up! Amen.”
What about you?
Have you tasted life to the full?
What moments have you experienced that usher you into that deep place of shalom?
Does wanting to control God interfere with receiving the gifts of life that each day offers you?
When was the last time you danced before beauty? Stretch out your arms!
*“Shalom” – completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.” (Strongs Concordance)