Waterfall with snow in Yellowstone .  God's creation

Do You Want the Postcard or the Experience?

Many years ago, I was able to join my husband on a work trip. I was so eager for this vacation because it would not only allow us some much-needed time together, but we would also have the opportunity to snow ski in beautiful Big Sky, Montana. Without a great deal of thought or preparation, we decided to rent a car and visit Yellowstone National Park while we were there. If you had asked me my thoughts about Yellowstone before visiting, I would have told you that it is a gorgeous place due to the vast number of pictures I had seen over the years. Whether it be from my own computer, friends, postcards, etc., I knew with certainty that it was beautiful. I did not need to see it up close to be sure of that –or so I thought!

After about an hour drive through roads covered in white and elk roaming the roads freely, we arrived in West Yellowstone. We rented our attire and snow mobiles and headed out on our half-day tour. I soon realized that the magnitude and vast beauty of this place far exceeded any picture I had ever seen and any story I had ever heard. The view was now in 3D, and it was magnificent. As big as that word, magnificent, sounds, it just does not seem to do justice for my experience that day. I even took time to look for synonyms of the word that would better explain the beauty that I experienced that day. Epicgloriousgrandmajesticmassivemonumentalsplendid, were just a few that I found. And guess what? They still did not put into words what my eyes witnessed that day. Even though I had much knowledge on the beauty of Yellowstone, I had never experienced it for myself. And what I had seen in pictures did not even come close to my up-close view.

And just like my experience of Yellowstone, I think our experience with God can be the same. I would say that most of us know who God is. We know that He created the whole universe in 6 days and rested on the seventh. We know that He sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to the earth. We know that He would be born to a virgin, live a sinless life yet die the death that only the worst of sinners deserved. And we know that He did all of this to save us of from our own wickedness. The reason behind this? All so that we could spend eternity in Heaven with Him when we leave this earth. 

Ok truthfully, you have heard that before, right? 

But do you know God –I mean really know Him? Or is your experience much like my Yellowstone experience. I thought I knew how amazing it was until I had arrived there and saw it for myself. Until I sat and the bottom and looked up, or when I sat on the edge and looked out. I simply stood in awe of the majesty that had surrounded me on all sides. This feeling could have never resulted from a post card, google image or anything of that sort. 

And neither can your walk with Christ. There is a stark difference between knowing who God is and knowing God, and there is a difference in knowing that He is a creator versus knowing He is your Creator. You can sit in Church and hear the sermons, you can attend every Bible study out there, you can talk to your friends who are believers, heck you can even sing in the choir. And all these things I would encourage you to do. Except the singing... if you sound anything like me just skip the choir and serve elsewhere. But here is the truth that I do not want you to miss. Until you have a relationship with the King of the Universe, you are simply looking at a 2D picture of something meant to be viewed in 3D. You see, the two-dimensional things lack detail and depth. Our God lacks neither of those.

 So how do you experience God for yourself instead of just knowing who He is? You give of your time to study His word, you communicate with Him through prayer, and you surrender your entire life to Him. The awe and wonder of a mighty God can only be experienced up close and very personal. By sitting at His feet and willingly giving your life back to the Him who gave it to you. This is the relationship that will determine the course and success of every other relationship in your life.

If you have never experienced a personal relationship with God, I invite you today to release control over everything that you have been trying so hard to hold on to. Dedicate every day to really knowing Him and His plans for your life. Give yourself to Him and allow Him to use you to further His Kingdom. Choose the experience over the postcard. This is where you find unending joy.


-Jennifer Pearson

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