A Family Story From Glacier National Park

It was the summer of 2019, and my children and I were talking about nature as we typically do. We were visiting Glacier National Park and were amazed at the beautiful red, green, and gray rock layers that make up the mountains.

The distinctly layered mountains are turned and twisted at varying angles. You see this layering all throughout Glacier National Park and many other places in the world. However, the vivid colors that make up the rock in Glacier National Park make it extra special.

I recall the day we went for a drive and found Lake McDonald. The lake is magnificent, the water is crystal clear and the multi-colored rocks paint the lake floor like a work of art.

Lake McDonald and its beautiful gem like stones.

As we skipped rocks across the surface of the lake, it became obvious, the red, green, and gray rocks in our hands were the same rocks from the mountains surrounding us.

I asked my oldest son,

Do you think God created that red rock mountain we saw, and also created these bigger and smaller rounded red rocks in the lake?

He didn’t hesitate.

He said,

I think God created the mountain, but I think water washed the rocks down here, rounding the rocks over time. I don’t know how much time, but I think that’s what happened.

We talked some more about the landscape of this beautiful place.

Notice the layered mountains, created over millions of years, which then eroded with time.

My son shared his reasoning. He came to this conclusion as he noticed there are always round rocks in rivers, streams, and lakes for the most part. So that told him, the water caused the rounding of the rocks.

I later explained to him, according to geologists anyway, those red rocks used to be sediment, which turned into solid rock over time, and they date at 1.5 Billion years old.

I know some of your eyebrows just went up. 

1.5 Billion years old?

That is what their testing has shown, and that is fine. It does not disagree with God’s Word if you properly understand the beginning, and The World That Was. In fact, it aligns very well.

As the days passed and we spent more time in the park, we noticed how the layered and angled rock that made up the mountains perfectly aligned across entire canyons. From one side to the other. We have seen this many times before, as I am sure you have as well.

As we thought about this, we asked ourselves.

How could the layers be the same color and angle across such a wide expanse from one side to the other?

“U” shaped valleys like this were carved by glacier movement over time.

There is only one logical answer, at one time, the rocks were connected from one side to the other, it was a much bigger mountain, and there was no canyon at all.

Over time, a long time, erosion and the movement of glaciers caused the rock to break a part washing it into streams, rivers, and eventually lakes.

We thought again about those rounded red rocks back at the lake.

What we found so intriguing about the mountains aside from their sheer beauty is all the mysteries they hold.

To see layer upon layer of various colored rock composed of sediment make up the mountains tells us, it took time, lots of time. As the tectonic plates moved, this caused these layers to push up against one another. Hence why those layers are at varying angles. We have even seen some layers right at 180 degrees!

I was amazed by this bent mountain on the way to Sperry Glacier.

As the kids thought about these things, I explained to them, layers of sediment do not form at any angle other than a horizontal 90 degrees. So for layers to exist at any angle other than 90 degrees means, those layers of rock moved into their current position over time.

They agreed and explained they observed similar things from playing in the mud back home.

I laughed and then told my kids,

I do not believe God created the layers of rock that form the mountains. Nor do I believe God created mountains with such angles.

When I shared those thoughts with my children, they asked me why?

I brought their attention back to the places we have been, where we have seen fossils in between layers of varying rock types, and various rock colors, at various depths.

God certainly did not create fossils and place them between layers of rock during Creation. So we know the earth has changed over time, and it wears out a little more, like us, day by day.

Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.

Isaiah 51:6

When a friend pointed out this verse, it made Glacier National Park that much more special to me. I could see with my own eyes, the mountains were wearing away, little by little, day by day.

Beautiful Iceberg Lake, where you always find icebergs floating around.

I do believe God created the Heavens, the Earth, and the rules that govern the universe. I believe God set it in motion, watching His Creation mature just as we watch our family mature over time. After all, God created all things for His Pleasure, (Revelation 4:11).

That year, I spent untold hours researching and trying to understand the earth’s history, and how it relates to the Bible. I eventually realized, we are not going to figure out all the details with absolute certainly.

I felt a little defeated.

I feel we can always find answers if we look hard enough.

It was about that moment when I stumbled across Ecclesiastes 3:11.

Let’s read it together.

Ecclesiastes 3:11
He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

That verse right there set my mind and heart at ease. I realized in that moment, God set the world in motion and has placed things in such a fashion that man will never be able to truly figure it all out.

We cannot figure it out as our knowledge does not go back to the beginning. Instead, God placed us in the middle of time if you will, all we can figure out for sure is our time. Everything else is an educated guess.

I found comfort in Ecclesiastes 3:11. God promised mankind would not be able to figure out all of earth’s mysteries. I take God at His Word and I continue to admire nature and earth’s history, but I no longer become frustrated by it.

Instead, I look forward to the day when I can sit down with our Creator and ask Him my questions, and find the answers I once so desperately sought.

A panoramic view of Glacier National Park and Lower St. Mary Lake

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