Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lessons from an 11 Mile Hike

I woke up Saturday morning to my husband inviting me to join him by the fire to enjoy the sunrise. My first impulse was to hide inside my sleeping bag and go back to sleep pretending it was not cold. On second thought I decided to go try this sunrise thing. Soon our dear children straggled out of the tent and joined us for hot cocoa and poptarts and a gorgeous view of the mountains. Our friends joined us and helped us pick up camp. A half hour later, our family and our friends who are a family of 5 were beginning an 11 mile hike towards Sawtooth River. Here are the lessons that I learned.
1. At the beginning of the hike, it is a good thing not to think of how long the journey will be but to focus on the steps right in front of you. In life, we often are concerned about what is coming ahead that it is hard to enjoy the moment. I am glad that N and I are enjoying the journey each step of the way. The next few months are unknown but we can take the next step forward know that God will lead the way.
2. Sometimes facing your fear is the only way you can truly see God's beauty. Along the hike, we had some creeks and water that could only be traversed by going over logs and rocks. All I could see were opportunities for me to fall and reinjure my fingers. My husband patiently helped me across each one and after each one my confidence seemed to grow. At the top when I put my feet in the ice cold water, I knew by turning back I would have missed a brillant piece of God's handiwork. I was able to face my fear with God and N's help and because of renewed confidence I have increased the mobility of my right hand. Sometimes in relationships we have creeks to cross. We have been hurt in the past and don't know if we want to chance falling in and getting wet. What blessings we miss when we don't put our faith in someone especially God to help us across. As I was crossing the water, I remembered Isaiah 43:2 which says, " When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you." Whether I cross wet or dry, God is with me.
3. Each person has their own part to play. N did a good job of leading the way there. He kept our eyes on getting to the goal. Our friend D made sure there were no stragglers. And I even lead the way back determined to finish what we had started. God has given each of us a part in this life. A part that no one else can play. I plan to do that part the best that I can.
4. God has blessed us with good friends who will go on long hikes with us and put up with us.
God gives us the friends when need when we need them. He will always be with us and will never forsake us but also sends others to walk along side of us.

Dear God, Help us learn from you everyday in the simple things of life. Thank you for your faithfulness in all things. Amen
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