View from the Top
Ready “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” -Hebrews 13:8
Set A while ago I had the incredible opportunity to go on a cross-country trip with my family. We spent some time driving through Arches National Park in Utah, and at one point decided to take a break to get out and stretch our legs. The park itself includes thousands of acres of desolate land with countless geographic features to hike and explore. We didn’t have a whole lot of time, but we decided to see the arch aptly named “Delicate Arch.” Because of our schedule, we set out to explore the arch from the more distant, lower view. From the parking lot to the viewing area was about a half a mile on an uphill, rocky, dusty trail. Mixed with the elevation and heat, it wasn't a simple walk to the overlook. You had to really want to see it. Once we got to the top, I was able to spend a little time just standing in awe and worshiping our creative God before we made our descent. About a third of the way back down, I crossed paths with a family hiking up. I overheard a young boy complaining to his dad about being hot and tired and not wanting to go any farther. His dad asked if he wanted to go on or just sit there and wait until they came back down. “I don't want to go any farther. I'll just wait here,” he said. “That's silly,” I thought. “You got out of the car, got a sneak peek, made it most of the way to the top, and now you want to stop before you've even seen the best part?” Not even steps later I felt God speak to me. I turned around and looked up at where the boy was on the trail and his view of the arch. From the parking lot, a sneak peak of the arch was visible up a narrow canyon, but the best view was from the top. On the trail, though, the arch was hidden. He couldn't see it. I think a similar thing happens to us often as Christians. We've given our lives to Christ. We've seen evidence of Him working in and around us. But as time goes on we put our heads down, and our view becomes obstructed. We sit down and don't want to go any farther. As I thought about it, God assured me of something that He repeated many times in the Bible: He's still there and will always be there. Think about it. Regardless of whether or not the boy moved up or down on the trail, Delicate Arch wouldn't keep moving farther and farther away the closer he got to the top. And Jesus won't move farther away from us, either. You wouldn’t sit down in a marathon at mile 20 because you couldn’t see the finish line, would you? And because you know the distance, you know there will be a finish line at mile 26.2. You know the line won’t keep moving farther away. My prayer today is that, even in the times when our view becomes obstructed, we won't sit down. May we, instead, run to our Savior who is waiting for us. He’s not going anywhere, of that we can be sure. The very trail we've started on has been cleared by Him for us to see Him better if we just keep moving.
Go 1. Where are you on the spiritual trail? 2. In times when you can’t see the Lord, do you still know He’s there? Do you doubt? 3. What makes it hard to see Him? 4. Spiritually speaking, what can you do to keep moving when things get tough?
Workout Deuteronomy 31:6 Proverbs 3:5-6 Philippians 1:6 Hebrews 12:1-3