Consider the lilies...
This land is rich.
There are majestic mountains, curious animals, and exotic thermal features. It seems every few miles of YNP models its own landscape.
As beautiful as this rich land is, my mind and heart are occupied with other wonders: the people who come here. The people for which this land was created. The chosen viewers of this small but precious sliver of God’s glory materialized.
My first night here I spontaneously watched the sun set over
a frozen lake with new friends I met at the picnic table hangout. A couple days
later I discovered a surprise cave with a couple of coworkers after work. And
just last night a car-full of new faces traveled a whopping 20 minutes to
wonder at Yellowstone’s famed Upper Falls and grand canyon. These are just a
few of the highlights of my short time here and I’ve found that although the
sites are now permanently stained into my mind, the people I’ve met are
permanently etched into my heart.
I have grown closer to and have come to love my coworkers here in the few short weeks I’ve been here. Mormon, atheist, nature worshiper… You name it. As I tried to view the world through my new friends’ eyes I questioned God. Why is it like this? Why don’t they know the Truth? Why do I? It made me mad and hurt. Made me mad at God and hurt by Him.
“This is not fair” turned into “God, You are not fair”.
On the way to work this morning I was spiritually tired from asking these questions. My fresh, new lightness and joy that had identified me and probably annoyed some coworkers during my early morning shifts had left me- I had even been told this the day before by a friend- ouch. One person had even told me the cheeriness would not last the summer and I had been determined to prove them wrong. Today was my second work day of only my third week and I was starting to fear that I had failed as I walked to work that morning confused and tired and hurting and dreading.
So I cried out to God. He reminded me on that dark morning walk under the blanket of stars that He was on my side. Not only did he love me, and want the best for me. Not only was I His precious daughter that he fights for--- He loves and wants the best for and fights for my coworkers as well. The ones who don’t even know him yet. The ones who may never know him. He loves them more that I love them. He is on their side and fights for them whether they know it or not. He was all of this to them before I ever met them! I was tired because I tried to carry a burden I was not meant to. I was selfish to think that I cared more about these people than God did.
I hurt for them but God hurts for them more. Any love I have for them comes from God’s love for them that He put into me. I was wrong to think I was inviting God into my little world. I am the one that has been invited into God’s feelings and will and plan for the people of this park.
“Consider the ravens: they neither toil or reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!”
“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!”
In light of this scripture, a common saying among my team is “we are more important to God than that! [insert whatever beautiful site we are beholding]”.
My prayer is that everyone I meet here will know that fact. Will know that they have value and are designed to have fullness of life as they live according to how they were designed: loving and knowing the God who loved and knew them first.