I’ll admit, it’s surreal to look back on our family vacation pictures and to know the landscape of Yellowstone will never be the same again.
As many of you know, or have seen (or read, consider this my recommendation of Will’s article in the News Argus that appeared on Saturday, June 18), Will and I, joined by my family, had a chance to spend ten days in Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park.
It was actually our eight-year overdue graduation trip, but I digress. We started planning this trip while we were living in Georgia, as a chance to get back to the mountains for a few days, then we moved to Montana and confirmed our plans (and turned out that was particularly helpful because I overpacked and was grateful I didn’t need to check a bag).
I went to Yellowstone last summer, just for a day, and got a glimpse of the beauty and expansiveness of the park. This year, I looked forward to getting off the beaten path a little, and exploring the landscape not accessible by car.
But turns out, one of my favorite moments of the trip didn’t involve any hiking. It was our first morning in the park, and I woke up well before my alarm, texted my dad (who had certainly already been awake for several hours), and set out to Artist’s Point on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.
I’d stopped there before, but not first thing in the morning. The clouds were low, casting something like a mist on the falls and river. The sun was just starting to peak through the clouds. And we had the place completely to ourselves.
It was spectacular. A sight I will not soon forget.
I’ve found myself thinking about Psalm 46 the last several weeks, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its water roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult” (Psalm 46:1-3).
We know all too well the destruction that can come through natural forces. Our community, state, and the world have experienced that.
But Psalm 46 concludes with the words, “Be still, and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:10).
I find comfort knowing that even as the earth literally changes around us, God does not change. And the God who once created the world out of nothing, continues to be active in our world.
And so, I pause. I give thanks for the beauty I’ve seen and for the unchanging promises of God.
Grace and peace,