Things weren’t going well. I was hiking with some friends at Arches National Park in Utah. “Hiking” might be the wrong word. In truth, I was struggling to breathe. Here was this Florida girl, quite unused to elevations of any sort, and quite unused to using the muscles required to “hike”. The heat coming off the red sandstone was oppressive. Professional hikers with their cool boots and backpacks were practically running past me. Like I said, things weren’t going well. But my friend (who is quite the hiker) told me to keep pressing on, that the trip would be so worth it. And he was so right. We got to the top, rounded a bend, and there before me stood the most magnificent natural creation I’d ever seen. There was Delicate Arch, formed by thousands of years of hot winds blowing across the sandstone. Hikers standing at its base were dwarfed by its size. Snow-capped Colorado mountains set the backdrop behind it. And this time my breath was taken away, not because of the hike, but because of the amazing and dramatic beauty.
I realized that if I had given up at any point during that hike, or if I had decided to turn around, I never would have had that experience. Life is like that, too. God has amazing things for us to see and experience, but sometimes we have to press on through roadblocks and discouragements before we get there. And yet, God is right there next to us whispering, “Keep going! You won’t believe what I have waiting for you up around the bend!”
Romans 5:3-4 says, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us–they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation.” (NLT)
Hang in there. Keep hiking. You won’t believe what God has around the bend for you.
(adapted from my book, “Anticipatience – A New Word of Hope for Single Women”)