I quickly learned that what is a “moderate” hike to some super-fit park rangers is not quite the case for this out of shape couch potato. The hike began OK as I was distracted by worrying about the warning sign I just saw that said to watch out for bears. The trail quickly became steep with uneven footing everywhere. Not being the most agile (read: clumsy), the entire time I was walking up this mountain I was worrying about how I was going to get down. I couldn’t even focus on what I was doing at the time, I kept worrying about the future. I kept envisioning myself having to slide down on my bottom. Not a pretty sight. To make matters worse as I’m huffing and puffing several groups of senior adults whiz by me with ease. I kept thinking if that Granny can do this, so can I! Alas, my optimism was short-lived. Within a short time I was out of breath and having little hope of getting up the mountain, much less getting back down. I played out scenarios in my mind of how the park rangers would have to come to my rescue and carry me down. It was just not a good scene.
But God knew I was going to go up this mountain and He showed me hope, patience, perseverance and much more though my husband, Scott. Even with my whining and complaining and growls of disdain, Scott remained calm and encouraged me to just keep going. He also knew how to get me to rest. I was trying to fly up the mountain to get it over with but he knew that I needed to take it easy. He would point out shaded areas so we could sit and watch the grannies pass us by. There were times towards the end of the hike that I felt as though my body was shutting down. I had the urge to just go to sleep. Strange, I know. But Scott was there holding my hand, showing me where to go without ceasing.
While I was on this journey I know the hand of God was upon both of us. I felt His presence so clearly. I was able to see that in my life I have a tendency to view my problems as a huge mountain before me instead of taking just one step at a time. So often I don’t even address an issue because it just looks too hard. You know, God tells us in Proverbs 16:9 “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” All throughout the Bible there is talk of steps and paths. God really does mean it when He says He’s prepared a way for us. I had no idea how I was going to hike this trail but God knew the steps I needed to take and He showed them to me through Scott.
How often have I viewed a problem like a mountain, not even willing to work on it because it was just too overwhelming? God showed me that if I just take one step at a time – HIS steps – He will lead me the entire way. He won’t take His hand from me. Psalm 66:9 says “Our lives are in his hands, and he keeps our feet from stumbling.” He will even show me places to rest. When I don’t even feel like I can go on, He will encourage me and lift me up. I remain in His hands. Jesus uttered his last words before dying on the cross, “”Father, into Your hands, I commit my spirit.” Jesus knew there is rest in God’s hands.
Scott and I did make it to the bottom and I will always cherish the journey we went on together. Not really for the great scenery or even the sense of accomplishment but for the way I met with God and how I saw God in Scott. The way God could use a painful exhausting time to show me the most beautiful actions of love. I can’t say that I’m planning my next hike, but I do know that if I have to climb another mountain, I know that I can get through it step by step and I know that I want God and Scott to be right there with me.