I’ve had the absolute joy of spending this last week in the lush mountains, rivers, and valleys of Sun Valley, Idaho.
Idaho, you say?? Yes, Idaho!
I feel like I’m not the only one who thought it was a super random destination for vacation. And, not knowing much about it myself, I honestly thought the same thing at times. But, I feel so incredibly blessed to have gotten to visit the extraordinary beauty that lies in this state.
Everywhere you looked, there was a range of mountains. Valleys. Peaks. Snow-capped hills. Rivers. Streams. Lakes. Rocks. Wildflowers. Trees. Trees on trees on trees. And the smell, ah the smell put every pine tree candle to shame. The sounds – you constantly could hear birds chirping and singing combined with the soft hum of the stream behind you. Imagine every sleep-aid sound you would choose to play falling asleep to… being in Idaho was like having my sleep cycle app on at all times it was so dang peaceful. At night, since there really is very little lighting and buildings, you could see every star in the sky. Literally. We could see all the planets, the Milky Way, Orion’s Belt, all of it. It was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before.
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. ~Isaiah 40:28
God is the Creator of the ends of the earth. He has given us these breath-taking views to point us to something bigger than ourselves. His understanding is unsearchable, but one thing is certain, He loves us so greatly that He would give us this amazing Creation to enjoy.
God, my God, how great you are! Dressed up in sunshine, and all heaven stretched out for your tent…
Mountains pushed up, valleys spread out in the places you assigned them. You set boundaries between earth and sea; never again will earth be flooded. You started the springs and rivers, sent them flowing among the hills.
~Psalm 104: 1-15
I was in a constant state of awe and peace, which is the best gift a vacation could give me. The grandeur and breath-taking beauty of the mountains reminded me of how small I was every day.
In my normal day to day, it’s so easy for me to fill my mind with petty worries or fears. What will they think of me? Do I look good enough in this outfit to impress him/her? Will I perform well today? Do I measure up? But when I was in Idaho, surrounded by the most immense mountains, none of that mattered. I was in constant remembrance of how small I was compared to the vastness of God’s Creation and love.
Perspective changes everything.
The fact of the matter is – God loves us so much that he would give us this natural beauty to marvel at and enjoy. He didn’t have to give us mountains. Or rivers. Or streams. No! Out of his immense love for us, he gives us this extraordinary nature to enjoy. So when I think about that…I think about how much God loves me…and how LITTLE I am in comparison to something like the mountains or the number of stars in the sky, it clarifies what is really important.
I am loved by God. He will fulfill His purpose for me and He cares about every detail of my life – why worry?
I’m grateful to have experienced the magnificent work of His hands this week, so I may have my perspective shaped. When I read that God loves me more than there are stars in the sky, I can remember what it felt like to look up and be amazed by how many stars there truly are. When I read that God’s love stretches for me from the top of the mountain and will follow me all the way to the bottom of the valley, I can remember the height of the peaks of the mountains in Idaho and realize how amazing that really is. And peace like a river? Oh yeah, I definitely understand what that feels like now.
Nature is referenced so much in scripture for a REASON and now I know why. The peace and perspective it can give you is unprecedented and unmatched by anything else. It is completely natural, made by the hands of God alone. I pray I can bring this peace and perspective back to my daily life in the midst of the hustle and bustle and temptation to worry. And I pray that our eyes are continuously opened to the ways God loves us bigger and better than we could ever dream of, living in consistent awe of the One who has made it all.