Photo by James Ramos
It was golden hour, sunset in the Wadi Rum desert of Jordan. Our small group of Christian pilgrims traveled over sand dunes in the open bed of a small pick-up truck at a speed that both terrified and thrilled me. The sun was hot on our faces, sand beating and stinging our skin. My eyes wanted to close to shut out the sand, but I didn’t want to miss a moment of this otherworldly place, the indescribable beauty of it. The truck stopped and we got out to watch the sun melt into the vast, orange, sandstone mountains. I felt so small. Praise for God, who created this great cathedral of sand and stone, rose inside of me.
Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
Darkness fell and we continued our journey to a Bedouin campsite. In the distance, white lights twinkled from the caves in the side of the mountain, homes to some of our Bedouin hosts. Bedouins are nomadic people who raise livestock in the deserts of the Middle East. They have inhabited this land for over 2,000 years. These kind, hospitable people prepared a feast for us—meat and vegetables cooked in a pit three feet under the earth, coffee brewed with cardamom over an open fire, crackling in the cool desert night. After dinner, we wandered beyond the campsite into the black darkness of the night, nearly bumping into a camel resting nearby. We laid down in the sand and gazed at the splendor of the night sky. I have never seen such a sky… so clear, so vast, so many bright, twinkling stars, even shooting stars. And again, I felt so small. A great sense of awe came over me, a deep appreciation of God as Creator of the universe.
Over and over while on this trip to the Holy Land of Jordan, I have asked God to reveal to me what it is that He would have me to learn about Him. What I have felt as I have traveled this beautiful Holy Land is a deep sense of His greatness and power. Although our human minds are unable to comprehend this completely, God has given us a glimpse of Himself in His creation.
And God has also revealed Himself to us in the life of His Son, Jesus. When we visited the baptismal site of Christ at the Jordan River, an expert explained the history and geography of the area. He shared that the place where Jesus was baptized, where He began His ministry, is the lowest place on earth. Of all the places Jesus could have begun His ministry, why the lowest place on earth? Perhaps to show us there is no depth that He will not reach to find us, to love us, to save us. No one—NO ONE—is so low that Christ cannot save him.
Lowly seems to be a theme throughout the life of Jesus. He was born in a lowly stable among common farm animals, the child of poor parents who fled with Him to become refuges in a foreign land. At the end of His ministry, He took on the lowly posture of a Gentile slave, humbly washing the feet of His disciples, providing a model of humility and service for us all. He was unjustly treated as a lowly criminal and endured a humiliating and excruciating death for our sakes because of His love, God’s love for us.
As I leave the Holy Land, I am struck by the contrast of God’s greatness and the humble life of His Son on earth who came serving, healing, and saving us. “Who are we Lord that You, in your infinite greatness and power, are mindful of us?” (Psalm 8:4). Perhaps the question is not who are WE but who is HE? And the answer I believe is this: GOD IS LOVE, and this too is so vast, so great, so powerful that it is beyond all human comprehension.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.