Oregon

Oregon.
Hiking Trail.
Ginormous Waterfall…

Unbelievable.

I stood underneath a hundred foot waterfall yesterday
and received a little better understanding of the power of God.

I’d never been to Oregon before, and all I could have told you
before yesterday is that it’s where movies like the Goonies and
Short Circuit were filmed. Possibly Harry and the Hendersons too,
but I’m not quite sure. What is it with Oregon and 80’s films anyways?

In any case, an old friend of Jason’s led us up the side of
Mt. Hood yesterday on our day off, and I got to tell you,
it’s been a while since I felt so close to God.
Maybe it’s because I’m part Native American, and I feel more
at home among the trees, or maybe it’s just because
all of creation is groaning for the day of its release from futility,
but whatever it is, Oregon has got it going on.
Green pine elevators that pierce the sky,
rocky mountain peaks that sit like proud parents over the hills,
thick lush forests that look good enough for Ewoks to live in…
I’m telling you, the Northwest knows how to show off the grandeur or God
like few other places on earth.
But then, what else do I expect out of unadulterated creation?

Well, I should expect more I think.
In fact, Romans 8 says all this earth and sky around us is not only
giving testimony to the living God, but that they’re also waiting to
see if I’m a child of the king.
Yeah, no lie.
You can check it out if you think I’m making this up,
but the Word says that Creation itself
groans and is in eager expectation
to see who is going to be a child of God.
Pretty flattering if you think about it.
All those trees, thpse hundred foot wooden skyscrapers,
all those mountains, those quiet overwhelming fortresses,
and all that water, thundering down over top of me from
only God knows where, all of it,
waiting to see me clothed in glory,
made new in his kingdom,
made beautiful in spite of my ugliness…

and that’s just about more than I can stand.

So after a two mile hike through
fallen boulders, rich vegetation, and what appeared to be
an abandoned movie set from Lord of the Rings,
We crawled Golumn-like across a sea of wet jagged rocks, and
hunkered down in moss and mud and spray.
Once we had some footing we were sure of,
we stood straight and looked up
and let the sheer force and power of that waterfall overwhelm us.
A hundred feet up and what seemed like an eternity down,
we stood dumbfounded by all that water,
cascading down in horrible beautiful power,
thundering like a jet squadron passing overhead and
slamming tsunami-like into the rocks below.
We let the wind whip our hair about our faces
and the water all over our clothes,
and we breathed in the majesty of it all.
And all the while,
that waterfall was checking me out.

Weird to think about it such terms but true nonetheless.
He reminded me of the awesome terrible glory of God,
and I reminded him of what he’s waiting for.
The revealing of the sons of God.

But of course, that’s what we’re all waiting for isn’t it?
Right now,
we have trees that speak of his evergreen life-giving nature,
skies that proclaim his explosive glory,
mountains that display majesty,
and of course, humans that testify to his redemption.
But one day, we won’t need any of it.
Earth, sky, sea, mountains, stars…
One day we won’t use creation to see our creator.
We won’t gaze at the mirror to see a piece of the reflection.
We’ll just stare at Him face to face.
And to think, even the sun will pale in comparison.
Hmmm, that sounds like a kingdom worth waiting for.

But until that day,
I’m going back to Oregon as many times as I can.
So far that I’ve seen, it’s the next best thing.

Romans 8:19,22
“for the creation waits with eager longing
for the revealing of the sons of God…
...that the whole creation has been
groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.”