Epiphanies. Unannounced, these singular moments open life with explosive understanding. The funny thing is, these new insights come when we’re just living life, doing ordinary things. They can entice us away from our routine ways, reminding us that there is more is to grasp, if we’re willing to see.

 

Epiphany 6: God

 

The God of immovable granite is the God of tender, wispy pine needles.

It was one of those days. The kind that weighs you down and makes everything feel hard. So I took our boys on an outdoor adventure—for sanity’s sake. We needed a break from the house, from structure, from each other. I decided to find a new nature preserve for a hike. Once there, we opened the van doors and immediately smelled the strong scent of pine. My blood pressure lowered just a bit. I let the boys choose their own way to walk, and I slowed my pace. The area was inviting—a hollow to walk and a vista to see.

As I zig-zagged my way through the trees, I came across an immense boulder. Its massive, immovable beauty and cool surface demanded respect. It seemed to reflect life’s feel that day. Huge, heavy, unyielding.

I walked on and tried to pray, but words and emotions got stuck in the middle. Unclear, fretful. And God wasn’t showing up to change it.

Still lost in thought, I reached out for a pine limb, fresh with new, green growth and swaying in the breeze. An unexpected sensation of whisper-soft fronds instantly brought tears to my eyes. I stroked the soft needles again and again, marveling at their gentle feel. An epiphany of tenderness. My heart knew in a deeper way: the God of immovable granite is the God of tender, wispy pine needles. Hope found its voice. “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13 NIV).

God is vast, majestic, beyond scrutiny. But He is also present, watchful, caring, and Someone to know. Jesus’ unflinching demand that I take up my cross daily and follow Him is coupled with the reassurance that He is gentle and humble in heart. God understands both the innumerable stars and our broken hearts (Psalm 147:3-4). When I’m face-to-face with God’s incomprehensible and bewildering mystery, I have a choice: I can worship, or I can turn away. But for me to enjoy God with my whole heart, soul, and mind, I must accept Him as He is. It means discarding my unvoiced demands that He plan and move and love the way I want Him to, when I want Him to. In response, He invites me to come closer so we can explore heights and depths that I could never reach if I had kept my distance.

For Reflection:

  • In what ways are you experiencing God’s firmness or mystery right now?
  • In what ways are you experiencing God’s tenderness right now?
  • How does God’s nature give you hope?
  • Notice today how God might be inviting you to know Him better.

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