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by Mary Alice McGinnis
Can you think of a time in your life when you were absolutely awestruck? What sticks out in my mind is a trip we took years ago to the Grand Canyon. After spending an entire day at the South Rim, we decided to embrace more of its beauty by traveling to the North Rim.
We were ill prepared for the six-hour, 220-mile long drive around to the North Rim of the Canyon. (Can anyone say, “Are we there yet?”) By the time we arrived, the sun was beginning to set.
The majestic Canyon was just a few thousand feet from our quaint little cabin doorway. The Canyon cliffs, now covered in gray shadows, looked drab and unimpressive, much like a black and white photograph. Weary from our long drive, we started to question if this long trip was going to be worth it or end up being a HUGE disappointment.
We decided to make the best of things, so we unloaded our car and began to settle in for the night. We were told that the sunrise over the Canyon would be at 5:35 am the next morning. So, when the alarm went off the next morning at 5:00 am, we immediately rolled out of bed, threw on some warm clothes, and ventured out to the overlook.
We sat at the edge of the cliff with our feet dangling over the inky black Canyon below. As the sun peaked up over the horizon, what we witnessed over the next thirty minutes was nothing short of breathtaking.
Dabs of color began to awaken on the upper cliffs of the Canyon. As the sun rose higher and higher, the colors slowly popped, more and more brightly and deeply. The pinks, oranges, reds and purples splashed against the walls of the Canyon below, like the full spectrum of a painter’s pallet.
I was awestruck! It was more beautiful than I EVER could have imagined.
Isaiah experienced a much greater encounter that struck him with awe! His king, King Uzziah, had just died. But God pulled back the shadowy veil of this temporal world and raised Isaiah’s vision up to the very throne room of the King of kings.
Close your eyes for just a moment. What would have it looked like as Isaiah saw the pre-incarnate Jesus, the King of kings, in ALL His radiant Majesty, Holiness, and Supremacy?
John 12:41 says, “Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about Him.”
Try to picture the piercingly pure, unhindered, blinding Holiness of Jesus seated on His throne!
God’s presence was so powerful, so bright, so stunning that even the angels were overcome with awe. They had to cover the faces and their feet, and sang out the threefold praises of “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is the Lord God Almighty!”
Isaiah’s response? Overwhelmed by the blinding Glory of God’s Holiness, he says, "Woe to me! I am undone.” We really have no context for that kind of Holiness. None of us have experienced it. Yet throughout scripture, all who encountered the very presence of God ALL fell to their knees in such humility.
Yet God sends healing to Isaiah, in the form of a burning coal from His altar. The same heavenly altar where Jesus, the Lamb of God was slain, who takes away the sin of the world. Next Isaiah heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” He joyfully responds, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah was a healed sinner, commissioned to speak God’s word to the nation of Israel, even though they would refuse His Word! Do you know that Isaiah is quoted more times in the Gospels than any other Old Testament prophet? God is using Isaiah to speak to us even now!
Be awestruck today!
First, by God who reigns supreme in Holiness and Majesty.
Second, by the reality of the darkness of sin, in our world, in our hearts and on our lips. This evil threatens to undo us. And yet God is GREATER!
Third, by the unfathomable gift of forgiveness, paid for by the Holy One Himself, slain on the cross, the heavenly altar. We are cover in His righteousness!
Fourth, that God has chosen to use US to participate in the work of His powerful, majestic and eternal Kingdom.
Lord, pull back the veil of my eyes today. I know Jesus is more HOLY, more POWERFUL, more LOVING, more WONDERFUL, than I think Him to be! Lead me to live in that Holiness, Power, Love and Wonder, and let it live within me.