Colca Canyon is a beautiful area located about a 3-hour’s drive from Arequipa, Peru. Dotted with many small pre-Incan-era villages along its ridge, the canyon boasts depths of almost 14,000 feet. That is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the United States. As you can imagine, it is quite a scene to behold. And while I was admiring the sheer beauty of the landscape, I overheard a tourist make the comment, “This shows us how insignificant we really are.”
Of course, he was comparing humanity to the majesty of creation. That comment sounds poetic. It sounds profound. It is a humbling thought. But the reality is, it is utterly false. If we only had human reason to go buy, we would all agree with what he said. A canyon of that magnitude does make you feel small. But God’s Word tells us differently. God’s word tells us that mankind is the pinnacle of creation–the only piece of creation that is made in “His image” (Gen. 1:26). In fact, humanity is held so dearly to God that he would send his only begotten Son to take on flesh and die for our sin (Jn. 3:16; Philip. 2:5-11). As it does many times throughout scripture, we see the Word of God turn earthly wisdom on its head. We need God’s Word (special revelation) to inform us about God’s creation (general revelation). When we see the grandeur of the handiwork of God, it should not diminish how we view ourselves, but rather, it should multiply it. It should not cause us to doubt our place in creation, but rather, it should give us all the more confidence of the love our Heavenly Father has for us. We–as children of God, as His image bearers–are called to rule and to reign over creation. We are called to labor for our King as he increases his Kingdom.
This is not just arbitrary theology. This has very real and practical meaning to us. For one, if I did not believe this to be so, I would not have uprooted my wife and children, I would not have left family and friends, I would not have given up a job with a steady salary in order to be solely dependent upon the generosity of others, I would not have attempted to fumble through a second language in a foreign culture, and I would not have left the “security” and “comfort” of my life in the United States. If I believed a 14,000 foot cliff trumps the love and compassion that God has for his people, why would I waste my time serving here (or anywhere, for that matter)? But that is not the case. We have come here to seek the lost because the Lord seeks the lost. We have come here to serve in building the church because Jesus Christ is building His church. This earth will pass away (Rev. 21:1), but the souls of mankind are eternal.