To continue from yesterday’s post, here’s the next part of our Joshua Tree National Park adventure.
To start our 2nd day in the park, we had pumped the kids up for a big climb! It was basically an hour of climbing stairs.
I knew they would need extra encouragement – especially the ones with the tiniest legs – so after our 2nd break I told them we would dedicate each part of our hike to a loved one that needs our prayers. We have some special family members that are going through terribly heart crushing times and we are thinking about them non-stop. So we would look up and find a point on the trail ahead and say okay until we reach (xyz point right there) – this part of the climb is for (family member). We would talk about them, joke about what they would be talking about on the hike, and prayed for them.
Near the top, when it was hardest, we hiked for our brother in Christ that is soon to meet Jesus (unless the Lord miraculously decides otherwise). With tears in my throat and eyes I talked about this brother and what I knew about him and what the Lord had done in his life. We talked about eternity and how someday we would all be together. No goodbyes. No pain. No tears. We dedicated that finish to him, knowing how much he enjoyed the outdoors and was such a strong athlete.
It made me think….the most important victories in life aren’t applauded by the world. And what the world often sees as a defeat is actually the biggest victory of all as a child of God limps or crawls across the finish line to His Heavenly Father waiting with open arms to tell him, well done my son…you finished and finished strong… now the real celebration and fun begins!
On our hike, the kids didn’t complain or whine or even ask to stop. That’s what happens when we keep our attention on blessing others and not just self. Another life lesson.
This one was for you, our hurting loved ones!
Looking down and out from the top of the mountain was such a great reminder for me. From a higher view, we see so much more than our own little spot on earth. There’s so much we can’t see or understand from our tiny place below.
Those “little” mounds of rocks that look like tiny toy blocks are HUGE when you’re down there next to them. Perspective changes everything.
God’s ways are so much higher than ours. We can’t even try to fully understand Him. We can’t always understand what He allows. But we CAN trust that He will give us the faith we need to believe that He is sovereign and He is good. That faith is even a gift and not something we can create in ourselves. We just keep our hearts open and surrendered to Him. He will give us all we need to finish this part of our journey faithfully, not perfect but faithfully.
I want to share more about the weekend and some interesting people we’ve met – but I will wait until next time.
I keep reminding myself – all of this beauty is nothing in comparison to Jesus Himself and all He has in store for those who know His love!!!!