Wednesday, April 20, 2011

chamber of secrets

Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might...he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness and the light dwells with him.” Daniel 2:20-22

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to visit an enormous cavern in the hill country of Texas. For over an hour we walked through “rooms” of exquisite calcite formations, painstakingly formed over thousands of years as water dripped down through the limestone into the cavern, growing each formation a mere inch every hundred years. The caverns existed unseen by human eyes until 1963 when the highway department drilled into them by chance.

Visitors to the caverns get to view each stunning formation in all of its delicate beauty thanks to carefully placed lighting. At one point in the tour, our guide turned off all of the lights so we could experience total darkness. I whispered a quick prayer that I wouldn’t scream like a girl, thinking I was about to experience sheer panic. But what I encountered was another sensation altogether: an acute awareness of the extravagance of my God. For those brief seconds of complete darkness I realized that we were “seeing” the caverns as they had existed for all but the smallest fraction of the earth’s history. For millennia the beauty of that place had rested in absolute darkness, silently growing in splendor, for no other eyes than those of its Creator.

Every formation in that cavern, every column and fissure, every flow stone and vault declared the glory of the God who reveals Himself at His pleasure.  Each offered its praise to its Maker: My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. And had humans never stumbled across the beauty of this secret place, its testimony would have been no less truthful, its Maker no less glorious. God delights in glorifying God. And sometimes we are invited to witness the display.

How humbling to consider how much of the splendor of creation lies beyond what our eyes will ever see.  For a brief fifty years this ethereal chamber of secrets has testified to man of the glory of God. The wise marvel at creation and respond in worship of its Creator.The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of (His) law. As creation declares the glory of God, how much more so the Son, who revealed the Father by bringing light into the utter darkness of our fallenness?  The revelation of God entrusted to us is to be treasured. It is a down payment on the full weight of glory that will one day be revealed to us when that which is created passes away.

But while creation remains, may the things which are seen point us to Him Who is Unseen. May they speak truth to our innermost parts as they declare what was once hidden, as they illuminate what was once total darkness to the eyes of our souls.  And may we join in the chorus the creation has sung for millennia: Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.

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