Early the next morning, after experiencing my first of many breakfasts consisting of exotic foods from the east, we departed for Petra. Petra, for those like me who did not know what it was, was the capitol city of the ancient Arab tribe, the Nabataens. The Nabataens took the site from the Edomites, descendants of Esau.
We set out on a long trek, the path gradually becoming more mountainous as we went. The first sign of the ancient settlement was caves that were carved out of the rock which were tombs. As we continued, we began to descend into a narrow ravine until we reached the treasure room. Being in the presence of this amazing structure was humbling, it was difficult to truly take in the scope of what I was seeing! There were a lot of sites to take in on our way to the top of the mountain such as ancient tombs, palaces, monuments and many, many market stalls selling all sorts of trinkets and drapery. We finally reached the top of the mountain approximately 850 step later and words fail to do the view justice.
It was from here I was able to truly realize for the first time just how beautiful the arid landscape of Jordan really was. I have always equated a ‘beautiful land’ as green, lush and shady – but the beauty of Jordan sung out unashamedly from the mountain tops, and I couldn’t help but sit and take it in for quite some time. What I thought was just mountains before had now become something much more in my mind. A thought occurred to me; that God’s handywork is never dull. Everything he crafts declares His creativity and His raw power, and nothing I have seen in my life shouted that quite as clearly as these mountains.
Psalm 95:4-5 NLT
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains. The sea belongs to him, for he made it. His hands formed the dry land, too.
The thing that I appreciated the most about Petra was the way that mankind has taken what God had given them and created something new and beautiful. Amidst the creativity of God in Jordan, people had taken those mountains and displayed their own creativity. It reminded me that we are made in God’s image; and if God is creative, it is only natural that we are also creative.
If the Nabataens were able to take the beautiful things God created to create something new, what opportunities lie before us? What beautiful things has God placed before us that are just begging for us to take and, with the cooperation of God, transform into something amazing?
Today: Let us look around us at the working blocks God has placed in our lives. Who has God placed in our proximity that are a part of a grand design? What obstacles has God put before us just begging to be tamed and overcome to declare His glory? If we open our eyes to the fact that our creativity can be harnessed to bring God glory, then we will begin to see our mountains as opportunities to create something beautiful.
SONG: El Shaddai by Amy Grant – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuXB1a3NBCw