On our recent vacation hike, I couldn't help but relate our journey to Christ...
Heading up the dusty, cactus filled trail, the goal seemed impossible by the view currently in front of us. The mountains were scarce in trees and a small trickle of water wound back and forth in front of us. (You may have been told about a peaceful life when you seek a relationship with Jesus, but often find it difficult to see past your present circumstances.)
Continuing on, we jumped over the "river," heading toward our goal.
Steeper and steeper we climbed, the cactus/desert view slowly began to disappear. Green, lush trees now lined our path.
The next part of the river we came to was wider, the water deeper and moving faster. It was beginning to look more hopeful. (The more you continue to chase after the Lord through prayer and scripture study, your view begins to change.) We stomped through the ice cold water in our tennis shoes, no longer able to avoid getting wet. In the excitement of what was to come we increased our speed, foregoing the trail and traipsing directly through the river to reach our final destination quicker.
I'd been told about an incredibly beautiful hike from a long time blogger friend who lived in the area that we were currently vacationing in. I was finding it hard to imagine that this trail was leading me to the final majestic beauty that I'd seen in her pictures.
People began to pass us as they were heading down the trail. I asked, "How was it?" "AWESOME!" several teenagers replied in unison. (Church leaders, family members and friends will often tell you how God changed them and their life is now amazing.) "How much farther?" my husband asked in anxious curiosity and still lingering doubt. "Oh, you're almost there!" a teenage girl replied. My husband shot me a quick doubtful glance and said, "I wonder if they're just joking us and it's still really far or worse, not there at all!" As we looked around, there showed no signs of anything close to what we came for. (You may feel doubt in the middle of your struggles, wondering if God will really hear and/or answer your prayers.)
We continued walking and headed back onto the trail due to fallen trees blocking our path. (The fallen trees are like difficulties, often causing you to leave the narrow path God is calling you to stay on with Him.)
When we were able to, we jumped back into the water knowing that we couldn't get lost by following it directly. (When you get closer to Jesus, you will not stray or get lost because He is your guide.)
Finally, as we turned a corner, we stared in awe...the slot canyon stood before us reaching towards heaven.
Our eyes fell on a small narrow entryway of amazing yellow, orange, grey and black colors marking the way inside this hidden treasure. (“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14)
My husband ran to it and with his arms extended, was able to reach both sides. The only way to enter was directly through the river.
A loud, thunderous echo, was resonating from inside the canyon walls, beckoning us to see where it was coming from. (This is just like God inviting you to come closer to Him; wanting you to have a deeper more intimate relationship with Christ.) As we rounded the corner, there it was.
One of the most glorious slot canyon waterfalls I'd ever seen.
(When you press in and continue to grow closer to the Lord, you will be filled with His unending love and peace which surpasses all understanding.)
Your life may be just like our incredible hike. You may be walking uphill in the hot, dusty, desert of life. The view around you may seem hopeless and unending. But the more you press into God's word, pray and seek a "relationship" with Jesus Christ, the closer you get to the dream he's placed in your heart. He begins to do a work in you; changing you one step at a time. Walking you closer and closer to His amazing light. The view around you begins to change. The dark grim areas...become brighter. You are filled with renewed hope and strength. You no longer feel lost and alone. The more you seek the Lord you begin to realize that your "hike" through life is easier when you allow Christ to be your guide.
Today, take the journey of seeking a "relationship" with Christ. He will never take you down a wrong path. He will make all your paths straight. Eventually transforming you into His amazing image. Your life will become more than you've ever hoped or imagined it could be. His path will lead you to a life, "rooted and grounded" in Him. Start your hike though the desert into God's glorious waterfall of love, peace and light. He has a good and perfect plan for you and is calling you to take the steps in His direction.
"For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:14-19