by Maddy Mandall
Recently I was driving from Mackay to Townsville in north QLD. It’s a long drive, kilometres of sugar cane punctuated by a few houses and towns here and there. But as I got closer to Townsville (for the first time in my life!) I found myself taken aback by the beauty of the mountain ranges close by, covered with lush greenery. Google later revealed to me that this was in fact Hervey’s Range.
What struck me on this drive as I prayed to God was the vastness of it all. The miles of fields, the height and beauty of the range. It made me small, a feeling I often enjoy when I’m near the ocean or some other magnificent natural wonder. I enjoy feeling small in these moments because it gives me perspective, it helps me to breathe deeper and worry less about what’s on my plate and focus on God’s glory, creation and bigger plan. As I was struck by this feeling as I gazed upon Hervey’s Range I sensed God whisper to me, “you think these mountains are vast, but I am even more so”.
I know in my head that this is true, that God is vast. His power is so vast it creates galaxies and ladybugs. His knowledge is so vast that he can hold all events in history as well as what my favourite colour is in His mind. His love is so vast that He would send His son to die for our sins. But so often these truths seem to sit in my head as a fact, more than in my heart as life changing compass. As I felt myself shrink at the base of these mountains, I considered how often I feel that same way at the foot of the cross. While it certainly happens fairly regularly, when I think about God’s unrelenting and unending vastness I’m convicted that it should be happening so much more.
God’s never-ending goodness and love are constantly available for us to marvel at and revel in. The feeling of perspective and humility we feel on the shore of the ocean or in the middle of a walk in the bush is something we can tap into every moment of every day when we remember our God. The nature of our God is such that we can find peace because He reigns over every part of our lives. As Psalm 139 says:
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
Would we never forget the true vastness of our God, and the worship that should inspire in us every day. It’s easy when faced with the beauty of creation, but it is just as real as we lie in our bed each morning, sit at our desks at work, play in the park with our children or make coffee in our kitchens – if we’d only open our hearts and remember.
Maddy Mandall is the Leadership Development Manager at QLD Baptists. She has been a local church pastor, a tutor in preaching at Malyon Theological College, and a barista. She is still a serious coffee lover, it’s her 3rd love after Jesus and her husband Tom. She is also passionate about seeing others follow Jesus passionately and grow in their faith.