Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Power of God in the Grand Canyon!

Beau and I in beginning
Dad and Beau in the beginning
"Its over...we did it!" We exclaimed as we stood in awe, standing on the edge of the south rim of the mighty Grand Canyon. Our exhausted legs, and dust covered bodies peered over the edge with great satisfaction for one last time, as we knew this journey was finally over. My Dad, my son Beau, and I just finished a grueling hike to the bottom of Grand Canyon. This was an incredible challenge for us, and the massive down and up trek, left the 3 of us mentally, and physically exhausted. With that in mind, I couldn't be more proud of both my dad, and my young son for persevering through this journey. For any normal individuals this hike is daunting at best, but for my father, and son this was more/less miraculous.

 Many of you know but 16 years ago, my dad was struck by an out of control drunk driver while he was changing his tire on the side of the highway. The vehicle was going 70-75 mph when it struck, and obliterated both of his femurs. The driver sped off, and left him for dead in the middle of the highway. We didn't expect him to live, much less ever walk again. He never would regain the ability to run, as he previously enjoyed, but after months of rehab he began to walk again, unassisted. Through perseverance and a strong faith he has walked thousands of miles, and now at nearly 67 years of age, he has finished his 4th successful journey down and up the Grand Canyon.
taking a break at the bottom

My son, whom some know was diagnosed with Schizencephaly(https://www.physio-pedia.com/Schizencephaly) at one year of age. At the time of the diagnosis, we assumed he may never walk, let alone run, ride a bike, or even attempt any form of athletics. Over the course of his short 10 year life he has continued to persevere through multiple braces, hours of PT/OT, and chronic pain. His desire has always been to be treated like any other "regular" kid. It is because of that, many people don't even realize that he's been plagued by this disease. As he trained for this trip, when most kids his age were sleeping, he spent his early mornings running/walking thousands of stairs.

I don't tell you these stories to pat them on the back, or to laud the power of the human spirit. Although, the power of human perseverance is an important element. I tell you these stories to applaud the grace of our God, and the power of faith and reliance on Him. You see, my father, and son were both dealt incredible underserved tragedy....or canyons(if you will). They could have chosen to be overwhelmed, and paralyzed by the impossibility of the work ahead. They could have wallowed in deserved self-pity. Instead, they chose to look to Him who gives strength (Isaiah 40:31), and day by day, put one foot in front of the other. 

My reason for writing this, is for others to understand there is tremendous power in the canyon. No, not the monstrosity that is the Grand Canyon, but the "canyons" we all face in life. These canyons are the physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual struggles we face on this earth. The "problem of pain" or the reason for suffering has bewildered God-fearing men for ages. I too have wondered why Beau, and my Dad were dealt these hands through no fault of their own. As we walked out of the dry dusty canyon on that warm day, looking back at where we had come, we all felt a since of pride, and peace in persevering through the journey. You see, it was not the magic of the destination, because we finished where we started.....back at the top. The destination was this trial-filled journey.

Paul says it best in James 1:2-4: Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

God allows trials for our joy. What a crazy concept. He doesn't enjoy the pain that we go through, but he loves the product that those struggles will create. He doesn't expect us to passively live this life,
but to actively participate in our own spiritual maturity. We can roll over, or roll up our sleeves. God desires our full hearts, minds, and bodies to train to become more like Him. 

Paul says in 1 Timothy 4:8 ESV
For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

 Paul says again in Romans 5: 3-4 ESV
We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Beau and my dad would never have succeeded if it wasn't for their hours of training. Likewise, godliness does not come from passivity, but from active participation from us. This only happens in the form of Christian community, bible study, and prayer.  I'm so proud of their physical accomplishments, but I'm even more proud of the spiritual insights, growth, and maturity they gained along the arduous process.

As my dad said: Life's goal is character not comfort. If one could go down and up the Grand Canyon on an escalator it would not have the same impact on our mind, body, or soul. The beauty would be seen, but we would fail to be molded by the experience. The barriers are the blessing!

Great song about God making the impossible....possible:

We're finished



  1. Thanks for sharing! So appreciate reading John's testimony of love for his family and for his savior.

  2. What an accomplishment!! Norm and I did it once in a day and then with our sons and camped overnight at Indian gardens. Great memories!!