That morning we awoke before sunrise. Not all of us you see, I managed to slip out of bed, careful not to rouse Liezl or the kids. The cozy cocoon created by the double duvet was contrasted sharply by the crisp chill of the early morning air. I had hastily clothed myself and put on hiking boots. I can remember wanting to jump straight back into the sack but already the stir of activity from the common area kept me focused on the goal. I still had sleep in my eyes but maybe a cup of coffee was all I needed to slay the sloth?
My brother-in-law, David, was standing in the lounge, ready, waiting. Dad came out of his room a few minutes later. “Ok, let’s go,” he said.
Holidaying in the Drakensberg is my idea of fun. Breathtakingly beautiful with high adventure around every bend. Almost on arrival to the resort us men had been eying an imposing hill that had a steep gradient and the promise of panoramic views. We’d judged that it’d take about 2 hours to climb to the top and right from the start we were all game for the challenge.
About an hour in and a few kilometers up the excitement dissipated into the very real slog of having to put one foot in front of another, monotonously marching towards the top. It took a great deal longer to summit our mountain than we’d anticipated but when we did all the exhaustion of the hike up dissolved as we were faced with the majestic splendor of our God’s creation.
Baboons screeched and cried a few kilometers down the valley while insects buzzed and butterflies flapped. A solitary eagle, drifting high above the mountain edged basin over which we surveyed, captured my attention as I sat riveted by the glory of the surrounds. Wonderful. Awesome.
A few days ago I started working on a section of this blog entitled “What I Believe”. I kick started the process by articulating what I cling to regarding “Scripture”. My opening statement is, “God makes Himself known in general ways to all men, in all places, through all of time but He has chosen to make Himself known in a special way through Scripture.”
Here’s a truth: If all that you know of God is sitting at the top of a mountain you still don’t know God.
Oh, you might know of Him but you don’t know Him. You couldn’t. You see, the majesty of mountains, the glories of glaciers and radiance of rainbows tell you that there is a God but they tell you nothing of what God is, what He wants, what He’s done. You’d still be oblivious to Jesus Christ, to the redemption that He secured, and the relationship He offers. Truth is you’re no closer to God at the top of the mount Everest than in the shadow of the foot hills at the base.
God cannot be known on your terms. But he has made a way, you see God can be known in Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ can be known through Scripture.
John, a friend of Jesus, says in the book he wrote as an account of Jesus’ life:
I love seeing God in creation. Any special places for you? If God can be known, and I mean really known, through His Word then how much time do you spend there?