by Sharman J. Monroe
A few weeks ago, my friends and I booked a tour of the Grand Canyon. When we woke up on the morning of our tour, it was raining in Phoenix. We didn’t care. We were excited! We were going to see the Grand Canyon. We hurried down to the hotel lobby to wait for tour guide to pick us up. When the front desk staff heard we were going to the Grand Canyon, they apologized for the rain. “It rains in Phoenix only about every four months and we are so sorry it’s raining today!” they said. We said, “It’s okay; we’re going to see the Grand Canyon!” When our guide Scott (who, by the way, is the awesomest guide at Southwest Tours so ask for him when you book your tour) picked us up, he apologized for the rain. We said, “It’s okay; we’re going to see the Grand Canyon!”
Our first stop was in Sedona at Bell Rock, a magnificent red butte reaching about 5,000 feet high. As we were buying snacks for the road, the lady at the counter asked us if we were going to the Canyon. We promptly said, “Yes!” to which she said, “I’m so sorry it’s raining today! It rarely rains around here. Yesterday was so beautiful. You should have come yesterday.” We said, “It’s okay; we’re going to see the Grand Canyon!” We took pictures under umbrellas at Bell Rock then got back into the van to travel to the Grand Canyon.
It continued to rain. We couldn’t see the tumbleweeds and saguaro cacti that Scott pointed out along the way because of the rain and fog. We didn’t care; we were going to see the Grand Canyon.
We entered Grand Canyon National Park. A couple with us asked Scott to make a quick unscheduled stop. We got out of the van and took some quick pictures of the area. Yes, it was still raining. We returned to the van and Scott told us he was taking us to our first scheduled stop, the Watchtower, a 70-foot-high stone building located on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. He also apologized for the rain. Scott parked the van in the parking lot near to the Watchtower. We got out. The cloudbank was so thick we couldn’t see the huge stone tower. I caught a glimpse of it once as Scott walked us down to it. He said, “I don’t think we’re going to see much today Ladies.” Then Scott stopped, pointed and said, “There it is!” When he spoke, the rain stopped, the clouds parted and we saw the Grand Canyon!
This post is not about the magnificence of God reflected in the Grand Canyon. This post is about seeing the magnificent power of God. We saw God suddenly stop the rain and blow away a dense cloudbank at the exact moment we reached the canyon’s edge. Every time I think about that moment, I’m awe-struck and overwhelmed with tears. I imagine this is how the Israelites must have felt when they saw God divide the Red Sea, a body of water over 190 miles wide and 8,200 feet deep, exposing the dry land underneath it. They too had to be awe-struck and overwhelmed at the sight of God’s might as they walked through two towering walls of water to the other side. How humbled they had to feel knowing that the Creator of all was taking care of their personal need to escape Egyptian slavery and Pharaoh (Exodus 14).
This post is about seeing God’s love for His people. Visiting the Grand Canyon is not necessarily designed to better your relationship with God. But God loved us so much that He wanted to give us exceptional memories of our visit to the Canyon and cleared the skies for us. It reminds me that God is concerned about and wants to be part of all the stuff in our lives, the big, the small and the “un-spiritual”.