Dusting off Glory
It was early in the day and a brisk forty degrees when we began our descent into the Grand Canyon. In preparation for a full morning of hiking on the Bright Angel Trail, the four of us laced up our boots and bundled up.
We were ready for an adventure, excitement shielding us from feeling any misplaced anxiety.
Down a shaded trail about a quarter of a mile from our own quaint cabin stood the main lodge offering an assortment of food and supplies. We intentionally took our time there to enjoy a hot cup of coffee with a breakfast of pancakes, bacon and eggs.
The local meteorologist predicted that seven inches of snow would fall in the park by late afternoon, hopefully long after we had completed our hike, but before we left the lodge we filled our backpacks with extra supplies just in case.
My husband and I had decided early on in the new year that we would bring our two teenage boys to the canyon to gain a sort of “big picture” perspective. We wanted to experience some tangible clarity in our circumstance after spending several months facing a number of difficult setbacks.
We could not think of a better place that inspired greater humility.
We were convinced that temporarily disrupting our normal routine to explore the great outdoors would have a healing quality to it because what God has made displays His Glory and Power in ways that leave us in awe.
When we lose our sense of wonder we tend to hone in on our woundedness.
As I glanced across the table at breakfast into the precious faces of the people that I love the most, I knew that we had made the right decision to come to this place.
This place would give our family all the elbow room that we needed to see God’s Glory and remember one very important Truth.
God is absolutely faithful.
Moses petitioned to see God’s Glory.
“Moses desired to see more of Him than he was already experiencing” (John MacArthur, notes Exodus 33:18). His request reveals an appropriate desire to observe God’s presence all the more.
More than half way down from the rim of the canyon I had to stop and wholly admire the view. It was breathtaking.
At that point in our decent, the canyon wall was so high that I had to tilt my head backwards until it pressed against the top of my shoulders. I stood as still as a statue, as my family slowly edged past me, the trail barely wide enough for two people. Eventually, my husband turned around to check on me and realized what had captured my attention.
A cleft in the Canyon wall, that looked as if it had been carved out by hand, had caused me to pause reverently.
After Moses said, “Please show me Your glory” (Exodus 33:18) God’s response was to put Moses in the cleft of the rock while He passed by and His Glory was displayed in His Goodness.
It was not lost on me that God “put” Moses in the cleft of the rock and I began to understand the impossibility of Moses putting himself there.
To reach that place to experience the Glory of God could never be according to his own abilities, strength or might.
In reverent wonder, I worshiped. Worship recognizes Glory. For more than a few minutes I pondered the faithfulness of God through the story of Moses and the reality right before me.
These are not just stories for the one who believes, they are markers on the journey of faith that offer us an opportunity to dust off the glory in our circumstance.
They are reminders along our way that point us to Christ, “the cleft” Who makes it possible for us to see God’s Goodness.
We spent all morning on the Bright Angel Trail. It was a tough hike, but it was an experience that we will never forget. It did snow seven inches late that afternoon and we were reminded once more of His unmistakable faithfulness in our lives.