Stick to the Trail
I live in the mountains at Glorieta Camps and I love to hike on the trails. For me, hiking is a fun way to work out and a time when I can be in the beauty of God’s creation. In these moments, I get to see Him through what He has created.
On most of my hikes, I stick to the trail. These trails wind through the mountains, over rocks, around fallen trees, through thorny brush, and under heavy ground cover. Because of this, there have been many times I have walked a quarter of a mile or longer before realizing I was no longer on the trail. In order to get back on the path, I have to consult my map, or the Trail Forks app and see if I am in step with the path set before me.
Hills and Valleys
We know that God is a God of the hills and the valleys (1 Kings 20:28), so it makes sense that we navigate those hills and valleys on a trail He has set before us. Often we lose the trail and need to stop and look at the Trailmaker to set us back in the right direction. He is the one we trust in to make our path straight and our way sure (Proverbs 3:5).
I have many friends who would prefer to walk on well-paved roads and never experience the thrills of the hills and valleys. They don’t want to take the time to navigate the trail and consult the map to keep them in the right direction. On the well-paved road, there are fewer dangers and less effort is needed. On the road, we can be more comfortable and in control of our lives. These friends like the broad open road where they can control the destination without outside consideration.
The Kingdom of God is a lot like the trails and paved roads. In order to be a follower of the God in the hills and valleys, we have to realize we are not in control. We need to rely on Him for direction and guidance. On the trail, God will show us amazing things, but we will also have to go through some deep valleys. Even in the deepest and darkest valleys, He is with us and guiding us (Ps 23:4).
There is a path that leads to eternal life and one that does not (Matthew 7:13). Full reliance and trust in God are required to navigate the trails. He will not lead us through valleys we cannot handle (1 Cor. 10:13). While staying on the trail it is not easy, it is worth it!