Breathtaking awe



Light for the Way devotional series

We invite you to take a peek inside our weekly Light for the Way devotional series provided for staff.

By Pastor Steve Hoffer, pastoral care director, Presbyterian Homes of Bloomington

On a vacation earlier this spring, I had the opportunity to go hiking in the Grand Canyon. I had been there many years ago when our four children were young, so our time was spent solely on the south rim. This time, however, my goal was to hike to the bottom and back up on the same day.

On a beautiful spring morning, I set out on the South Kaibab Trail on my way to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. The narrow trail down is fully exposed to the canyon, offering breathtaking views. At the bottom of the canyon, I hiked along the Colorado River to get to the Bright Angel Trail to head back up. Both trails involved a lot of “switch backs” … meaning the trails zig-zag to make a descent or ascent more manageable.

At one point, in a moment of fatigue, I started singing out loud, “She’ll be comin’ round the mountain when she comes.” It felt like all I was doing was going round and round as I made my way. Silly perhaps … but it made me laugh at myself.

A bit later, as I stopped to take in another beautiful vista, I started to sing, “How Great Thou Art.” The first verse begins, “O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder consider all the worlds Thy hands have made.” At that point, my eyes filled with tears and my voice gave out as I choked up. I could not finish the song.

Even the words of a great hymn fail to describe the vast wonder of God’s creation. It is like the Earth is God’s studio, and He sculpted this amazing piece of art for us and put it in northern Arizona. It is easy to feel quite small in the context of something as expansive and beautiful as the Grand Canyon. What fills me with awe is that the same creativity, beauty, passion and wonder with which God created something like the Grand Canyon is the same creativity and intentionality God used to create each of us.

Scripture tells us we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” I will confess I don’t feel that way at times. Perhaps that is one of the reasons God gave us His Word, the Bible, to remind us how unique and special each one of us is to Him.

May the wonder of God’s creation remind us of His amazing love for us.

About Pastor Steve Hoffer: I joined PHS in July 2021 as the pastoral care director at Presbyterian Homes of Bloomington. Previously I served as the senior pastor of Roseau Evangelical Covenant Church in Roseau, Minn. I currently live in Plymouth, Minn., with my wife Mary. We have four adult children and two beautiful granddaughters. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, hiking and reading.

The Light for the Way series provides staff with an examination of a biblical reading to deepen our focus on scripture. Thank you for engaging with this series as we seek wisdom through prayer and reflection as a Christian Ministry.

Find more in the Light for the Way series:

Love one another
Get to know us: a Christian ministry
Introducing Light for the Way, a new devotional series



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