When I was about ten years old my parents took my brother and I to Carlsbad Caverns National Park. I remember planting my feet on the path that led down to the dark gaping mouth of the cave while my mother pulled on my arm, urging me forward. I was both excited and terrified to descend the trail into the unknown. Once safely inside, my fears ebbed even though the dimly lit trail revealed a sharp descent down into the earth. However, expertly placed lighting soon revealed a natural wonder that only God could design. Thankfully, the electric age had made it possible for the common man to explore the once hidden depths of the earth.
Back then all visitations into the cave were done as a guided tour. The park rangers that led us stopped at intervals to describe the various formations, going into detail about the elements that came into place in creating that wonderful cavern. Of course I didn’t hear any of that. I was too busy letting my imagination run wild as I saw vistas unlike anything I’d seen topside. Ever.
After a short lunch break we entered what is known as the Big Room aka Hall of the Giants. After many stops the ranger gathered us all together, sat some of the older ones down on benches that lined a pull-over area, and warned us that the lights were about to go off. True to his word, total darkness filled the room. Total. Utter. Darkness. Silence came from either fear or respect of the alien environment. Then, from strategically placed speakers, the beloved hymn Rock of Ages filled the chamber. After a few more seconds a spotlight came on that lit up a massive column of limestone that stood just before us. The formation, in all its magnificence, dominated the area. Gasps were heard throughout the crowd as people, both young and old, appreciated the beauty before them. At the close of the song the trail lights came back on and the Park Ranger told us that the name of that formation was indeed Rock of Ages, but that it was the true Rock of Ages, Jesus Christ, Who created the remarkable cave. He then led us to the elevators where we were shuttled up to the Visitor Center Gift Shop and back into the light of day.
Since that adventure so many years ago I’ve often thought of the things unseen. It’s only been with relatively recent technology that we’ve been able to see the extraordinary beauty of the marvels in deep space or the intricate colorful splendor of the creatures and reefs beneath the ocean waves. I recall wondering in amazement why a diver would want to plummet into the black waters at night until I saw pictures of the neon creatures that radiate their glory only during that time.
For centuries man never knew about the colorful world that existed at the bottom of the sea. Nor observed the earth from the surface of the moon. Or saw a distant galaxy. The list of things never (or rarely) seen is infinite but still God made them and placed each one with purpose. Unimaginable beauty and wonder exists where no human eye has seen, even now. How do I know this? Because God created the whole of the universe, unfathomable in scope, infinite in design, to be explored for all eternity. His creation, full of variations and complexities, is beautiful and wonderful simply because of Who he is. Even in the absence of man He cares for and tends to all of creation. Even when no one is watching.
Job 38:25-27 Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder;
To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man;
To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth?
I wonder if God the Creator smiles when mankind stumbles upon a new find. I find it humbling indeed that He chose me (and you) to be included in this remarkable journey.
Psa 8:3-9 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
We all leave behind footprints of our existence whether it’s the things we build or words we speak or friends we make. However, like the hidden treasures buried deep in the darkest caves, so are our hearts’ actions hidden from man. When we do something from the spirit (believe, hope, faith, love) it is only seen by God. Hopefully, as God’s children, we all seek to emulate the Father and with fortitude and purpose labor for beautiful and pleasing works that, like a once undiscovered jewel, will one day be revealed to the glory of God.