“OK, kids, get in. We’re headed to the Grand Canyon.”

“The Grand Canyon?! I don’t wanna see the Grand Canyon.”

“Sure you do. You’ll love it.”

“Yeah, yeah. It’s big. It’s grand. It’s a canyon. But I don’t wanna drive all the way to Utah …”


“… Arizona to see the Grand Canyon. Besides, I’ve seen the Grand Canyon.”

“When have you seen the Grand Canyon?”

“Lots of times. Wikipedia … Google Earth.”

Kids, gather round and listen to your Uncle Lynn. Go ahead and fuss and whine abut stopping to see the world’s largest ball of paint in Indiana, the Corn Palace in South Dakota, or the museum dedicated to barbed wire in Texas, but DO NOT FUSS about seeing the Grand Canyon.

Photos can capture the canyon’s grandeur, but stand on the edge of the South Rim and the view will take your breath away. In that moment, grandeur is redefined.

So put down your smartphone for five minutes and get a lesson in breathless wonder.

A lot of people—and a lot of religions—see God the same way they see the Grand Canyon: from a distance. They know He is majestic. Omniscient. Omnipotent. Eternal. After all, He is GOD. But they only consider God from a distance.

That’s too bad. They’re missing all the true wonder and majesty of who He is.

When Jesus came along, He did something radical in His Jewish culture. He called God His Father. You didn’t do that in first-century Palestine. It was unheard of.

“For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God” (John 5:18). 

Jesus was viewing God through the lens of an intimate relationship, not viewing Him as a distant God simply to be feared and obeyed. But Jesus went even further than that.

He invited us to talk to God as our Father!

This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven …'” (Matt. 6:9)

God is not just this all-powerful, sovereign Supreme Being; He desires to be as close as a loving, grace-filled Father. Jesus Christ made such a relationship possible when He died to remove the sin that created a wall between us and God. And more than just a wall; our sin made us enemies.

But Jesus removed all that. Through Jesus, we get to know God the Father up close and personal.

Some people still think like the first-century Jews; they think viewing God as a loving Father makes it easy for us to treat Him lightly, to do whatever we want so long as we run back to the Father and say we’re sorry.

That’s not how it works for me. Walking with the Father in His love and grace only magnifies the wonder and beauty of who He is. His majesty seems even more majestic.

One of the church’s favorite hymns captures it all. How Great Thou Art begins by focusing on His majestic role as Creator and Sustainer of the universe:

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.

But then the song moves to the way He lovingly reached into our lives.

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art. [Copyright 1949 and 1953 by the Stuart Hine Trust CIO.]

Let’s not worship God from a distance. Through Christ, come to Him as your Father. Let His love, grace, and forgiveness enfold you. He is the majestic God of heaven who is also your Father.

Our Father in heaven.”

Far more than the Grand Canyon, that truth—that relationship—is the breathless wonder to me.

For a printable version: click here.

This post supports the study “The Object of Our Prayer” in Bible Studies for Life.