I have leaned toward the adventurous side in comparison to my family.
Jumping out of trees as a youth to swinging across ravines in my young adulthood has left a few scars, but my body sometimes calls me out to move even as middle age is slowly enveloping me.
Thinking about what could be my next adventure, I reflect upon the vacation that led me to scale mountains and how it brought me to my faith walk.
My testimony is long and ever-changing. I have believed in Jesus my entire life, but until I had nothing to cling to other than His hand did I realize the depth in which faith could exist.
College life was a little crazy for me. I was a rebel in my own little circle, but as I stuck with limits, I found that my boundaries weren’t too far beyond something slightly acceptable. I was still a good girl in the great big picture. My adventurous good girl status led me on an adventure with a willy group of good people from my Christian college. We found cause to sleep in nature while brown bears stole our goods, allowed for people to burn under garments instead of holding them in their packs for later washing, and finding the meaning to the ever mind-bending question: if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, will it still make a noise. That answer is a resounding: YES it does.
A vacation like no other caused blisters like no other as a group of 25 of us hiked a 50 mile trek of the Appalachian Trail. We found ourselves scoffing at each other because some of us were slow (me), eating way too many power bars, night hiking because snoring kept us awake, and foughing a great battle with raccoons and a bear who had a cave full of backpacks.
I climbed a mountain for the first time in my life.
Vacations should be casual, a stroll in the woods, but I found myself crawling the tallest peak on the trail, going from a 100 degree valley floor to a snow-capped mountain. The view changed my perspective and allowed for me to really embrace that I am just one little speak in the great big picture of creation. The Lord’s landscape not only held the mountains and trees, but held me closer than those things combined. I was his greatest creation. I found myself to be very good.
As I spent one of the days hiking alone to have some introspective time, I learned a great lesson. The wall of the mountain was on my right and the cliff was on the left. The muddy trail led my imagination to go in all directions and possibilities as I followed behind a bear who left deep tracks in the mud. I laughed at my fears and shook with the extreme thoughts of sudden death, all the while ahead I would meet a cross-road.
I slipped in that mud. My foot slid to the left as my body went right. Down I went, the cliff was calling my name, but the Lord held my hand. A tree root appeared in my hand and I pulled myself up to safety. I laughed at the word vacation. I knew that this was something more, a call home, a life line that I only then truly realized I had. God surely showed me the right path and it wasn’t down a muddy cliff.
In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one
Ephesians 6:16 ESV
My faith wasn’t strong at that time, but I was learning. My faith walk was set into motion. It became something more than bedtime stories and church on Sundays. Faith became tangible that day. Faith embraced me as I grabbed on to the Lord’s hand. This moment sent me on a long adventure that still has no ending in sight.
Exciting and sometimes treacherous, I cannot wait for what the Lord has next. Vacations and rest as well as work and service, the plans that the Lord have for each of us are something to be looked forward to and treasured.
For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
1 John 5:4
We truly do have victory over all things through faith in Christ. We overcome because the Lord has already done so. Even when vacations go awry, we have one up on the one who would try to bring us down.We overcome because the Lord has already done so Click To Tweet