The Sahara Desert from 35,000 feet
Carried aloft 35,000 feet above the earth reminded me just how small we humans are and just how great God must be. Great though He is, He is always thinking about us.
For the first time we flew to Africa through Frankfurt Germany and during daylight hours which meant we could see the great Sahara Desert spread out below us like an unending roll of Berber carpet. Immense spaces captivate my imagination and expands my comprehension of God as an infinite being. Nothing He does is small, as in insignificant. He made the earth for His pleasure and then handed it over to Adam and Eve in the first recorded ‘trust’.
Today in Accra, Ghana’s sprawling capital city, I saw a gigantic mass of humanity and remembered that God knows each of us by name and has the hairs of our head numbered.
He cares about the lowly and oppressed. He doesn’t see us from 35,000 feet up, viewing us from a far distance. He comes to us, on foot so to speak. Up close in our lives removing all distance between us and Him. He cares about the need in our lives. The need here is so overwhelming, it tugs at my heart. There’s enough brutality to make you despair of human nature, but who knows how far the love of God can go in rescuing us from our worst and lowest selves.
The area we saw is called Sodom & Gomorrah. The conditions are as bad as you can imagine. But God’s love is reaching out to this place. We’re here to introduce people to God. To tell them of His love and ask them to trust in Him, to ‘wait upon the Lord’. Seeing the Sahara and then this other kind of desert in the heart of Accra brought to mind this passage in Isaiah. I know God is planning on doing something here, yet I haven’t got a clue how He’ll do it. But He doesn’t encourage us to wait on Him only to disappoint us.
What does it mean to wait on the Lord?
It means to experience peace in our circumstances by remembering two things about God.
- He is infinite and everlasting and absolutely untiring. He never wearies in His fatherly vigil, watching out over us with love in His heart.
- There is no way we can fully comprehend His understanding, His knowledge, wisdom, and divine plans. But we don’t have to in order to have peace. It’s knowing Him, not His plan that gives me peace.
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
I don’t know how God will get us together with the people He is calling from among this jumbled collection of human beings, but He calls us by name, not by nation, or city, or block, or street, by name. One by one the kingdom of God is populated by the willing. The ones who say yes to God.
Every day God see the ends of the earth as well as every person living on its face. The lone desert wanderer and his goats as well as the stockbroker carrying his Starbucks heading towards his office in Manhattan.
He sees us up close and with a heart full of love that wants us to know Him as well.