Take a Hike!
By Laura J. Bagby
CBN.com Sr. Producer
A mini vacation is exactly what I need, I thought, picturing myself far from my office hiking some scenic mountain trail and roasting marshmallows underneath a blanket of stars. So I quickly and excitedly signed up for a weekend camping trip near the Blue Ridge Mountains with some singles from my church.
But then several days after my decision, my spirit started to fidget. It began with the realization that I didn’t have all the equipment I needed. All I had were a pair of more-than-five-year-old hiking boots with failing tread and a hand-me-down sleeping bag. Not much to go on, I mused. What if it rains? What if I am cold? What if they ask me to pitch a tent? And I seriously have no idea how to build a fire by rubbing two sticks together. I felt like the training wheels had been taken off my bike, and I had forgotten how to ride.
It’s not like I didn’t have any wilderness experience. Twelve years ago I worked for three months during the summer in Yosemite National Park. I lived in a tent cabin with no heat and no air conditioning and slept on a cot with a green Army blanket. I walked every day to the bathhouse and to my job, and witnessed bear sightings. I wasn’t a rock climber, nor did I learn the art of rappelling, but I gained a bit of hiking experience climbing the side of Half Dome and camping experience sleeping under the stars. I was by no means a die hard or an expert, but I did have somewhat of a fearless streak in me back then. I didn’t worry so much about whether or not I knew what I was doing or whether I had the right equipment with me or not. I assumed it would all work out. Snakes and bugs and dirt and steep trails and blisters didn’t deter me. I was a tomboy and I was dependent on God to see me through. And God always came through for me.
But having been in the corporate world for several years now, surrounded by “luxuries” like carpet, 24-hour food marts, showers that needed no shower shoes and that don’t get cold too quickly, a real bed to sleep on, and a car to drive anywhere I want, I found myself feeling a bit skittish. As silly as it sounds, I wasn’t sure I could do the outdoor thing to the same extent that I had done it in my past. I seriously doubted my abilities. Could this professional woman in heels actually rough it again? I felt more wimpy than wild; more fearful than fearless; more doubtful than daredevil.
Whining to my roommate about my concerns one night, she stopped me in midstream with a pointed question: “Where is your sense of adventure?” Her words almost felt like when Jesus would affectionately call His disciples “oh you of little faith.”
My compass was definitely off. I was focusing on the wind and the waves instead of on the very practical and very capable Jesus who slept calmly in my boat while I was flailing around. I was looking at the deep water beneath my feet and sinking fast, instead of confidently walking my concerns back to God and resting in His provision.
Ever been there, paralyzed with the fear that you can’t accomplish what you used to accomplish in your past? Maybe you have grown to believe, as I had, that you don’t have what it takes anymore.
The truth is, however, we do have what it takes because we have Jesus. We might not remember everything, but He always does. We might not know how to do what we need to do, but we can ask Him for wisdom, as it says in James, and God will give us the information we need liberally and gladly. We might not think we have the necessary equipment to get the job done, but according to Ephesians 2:10, God has prepared us in advance to do good works. And if we will let Him, He will equip us better than we ever could on our own.
See, God knows the essentials. He has got our list stored in His head. The Bible tells us in Matthew 6:8 that our Father in heaven knows what we need before we even ask Him. He is very aware of the important details of our lives, like what we need for food and drink and clothing and shelter and transportation – even a brief camping trip. Matthew 6:25-34 tells us that the birds of the air and the lilies of the field don’t toil to make provisions; rather, God effortlessly takes care of them. If that is the case, and God considers us much more valuable than flowers and birds, then we should have that much more assurance that He has everything under control.
Imagine what it would be like if you could pick up the phone and call on the help of a rich and powerful person and that person would immediately help because they were really good friends with you. I can just see it now:
“We need a chopper, Mr. Trump.”
“No problem. I will cancel all my appointments and fly it out to you myself.”
“Oprah, we need a million dollars to help the AIDS orphans in Africa. Can you help?”
“I was wondering when you were going to ask me. Of course!”
Now, imagine how much more God, who loves you, will do for you when you call on Him? Philippians 4:19 tells us, “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Believe me, when it comes to provision, He’s got the goods!
So go ahead and get back on that horse, reposition yourself on that bike, or, as in my case, take a hike. All things are possible with God at the helm.
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