I had never been to the Grand Canyon, even though I had lived in the west my whole life. That is why my heart was racing as we drove up to the canyon rim.
If you’ve never been, no photograph or video can do it justice. It is enough to throw you back on your heels. From your periphery far left to your periphery far right, is the most majestic example of God’s creation. It is at once beautiful and rugged and seemingly more immense than the sky it sits under. The first thing that comes to the mind is how. How in the world did something like this come into being?
How in the world did something like this come into being?
And so, I asked. And here was the answer.
In 1858, an American geologist by the name of John Newberry was the first scientist to descend to the bottom of the Grand Canyon where he surveyed it and then proposed how it was formed. Where before most land formations were thought to have been created by shifting plates—volcanos and earthquakes—Newberry had a different idea for how the Grand Canyon came to be.
Rivers. Today most scientists still agree with Newberry.
Rivers? I thought, a bit perplexed. “Rivers formed all this?” I edged toward the railing and took a look. Down below was a tranquil river that snaked its way off into the distance and out of sight in both directions. I was aware that rivers turn into rapids and move with great might but it was simply amazing to think that rushing water, fast or slow, could slice the earth so dramatically. The entire canyon is a monument to the unbridled power of what appears to be a sleepy river.
The entire canyon is a monument to the unbridled power of what appears to be a sleepy river.
But then I remembered that Isaiah 48:18 says this: “If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river...”
Peace like I river, I thought. Suddenly everything was different. I had heard the term peace like a river many times throughout my life, and I had sung the song in Sunday School (I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river...), but it never occurred to me that what God was trying to convey was that His peace is not passive but mighty, destroying anything in its path that might come against it. We simply must adhere to God’s commands. Obedience unleashes rivers of peace.
My life is full of problems—great land masses and giant boulders that stand in my way and torment me. But if I obey God, they are no match for the rivers to come. God’s peace moves with great force.