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Putting on Our Spiritual Hiking Boots: Lessons from Mt Ida

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There we were, 20 years ago hiking up Mount Ida in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado. It was a tough 5 mile trek up to the nearly 13,000′ peak—a significant climb even if you are in good shape, which Ed and I were back then. What made this hike especially difficult were the many large boulders we had to clamber over. With my short legs—well—you get the picture.

The rock scrambling really slowed us down. But we finally made it! The view at the top was spectacular with a 360° view. It was definitely worth the effort!

We rested, ate, and savored the glorious sight. Knowing we shouldn’t dilly dally, we reluctantly started downward. Colorado mountains are notorious for their afternoon thunderstorms and it was getting late.

Ed, being a wonderful protective husband, decided we would try a different route down to avoid the boulders. But then we lost the trail! Eventually he told me to stay put while he attempted to relocate the trail. When he got back, he said, panting “I have good news, and bad news.”

“What’s the good news?” I asked with hope in my voice.

“The good news is I found the trail. The bad news is there’s a storm brewing and the trail is that way,” as he pointed up to an area filled with boulders!

Well, it’s one thing to be psychologically geared up to ascend a mountain, but quite another to have to climb it again. Not to mention we were already weary from our journey. It was doubly hard.

We trudged along as quickly as we could. The sky got worse and soon it was raining. Fear gripped me as I envisioned twisting my ankle or falling over the rocks. Plus, we were above tree-line—on tundra, which meant we were the tallest things at that spot! So if lightning struck it would either hit Ed or me. It’s really kind of funny to think that this vertically challenged person of 5 foot was the second tallest thing on top of a mountain!

In addition to being frightened and exhausted, I was confused. That morning I had asked God if it was safe for us to go on such an arduous hike. I sensed that it was.

I cried out to God as I tried to surmount yet another large rock, “Should we not have gone, Lord? Did I misunderstand You? I thought You said it was safe for us to go.”

Suddenly I realized—we were still safe! I remembered the peace He had given me about this trip. Focusing on that kept me going instead of being paralyzed by fear.

Well, we did get back in 1 piece—shaken, spent, but safe.

~~~~~

What did I learn from this crazy experience?

  • Running into obstacles doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve made a mistake.

And even if you did, you can learn from it. Life is full of obstacles. We can either climb over them, go around them, or be stopped by them. With the Lord you can make the right choice.

  • Choosing your own way—even with right motives, often leads to unnecessary pain and greater difficulty.

You must seek God’s way.

  • Your actions affect others.

Though well-meaning, Ed made a wrong decision. We both suffered. (Mind you, I never held it against my wonderful man.)

  • God is faithful and protects His own

—despite our weaknesses or wrong choices (Ps 103:14).

  • You can learn to recognize God’s leading.

I was right when I sensed that it was ok to go. I had “heard” God correctly. My confidence in discerning God’s way increased which gave me great peace.

 

So my friends, I hope you also will learn from your experiences. I would do this crazy adventure of 20 years ago all over again!

The splendid view, memories, and lessons were well worth it!

 

P.S. I AM going to be able to do it again! Going to Colorado this fall. I never dreamt it would have been possible!

Are You Running Ahead, Lagging Behind, or Going Alongside God?

 

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I wrote this blog earlier this year and I wanted to give you an update on the issue I mention in this blog. So watch for some exciting news at the end!

~~~~~

Are you like me? With the tendency to run ahead of God? I am a doer and I have a hard time not doing. Impatience is a continual weak spot in my character as I have confessed before. I’ve worked hard to overcome this trait, and the Lord has given me a lot of victory in this area. So I’ve been especially careful in my new location and church to wait for God’s guidance. I know He will lead me as to how I am to serve specifically in my new setting.

However, there is an issue (what exactly isn’t important here) in which I have swung the pendulum too far in the other direction. Concerning this matter, I need to know what my next step is. And I have been waiting on the Lord to show me. And I’m still waiting. It’s been 3 months now with no new direction.

Is the Lord just teaching me a new level of patience? Perhaps. But recently, during my devotions, it hit me (i.e. the Holy Spirit convicted me) that maybe I wasn’t doing my part completely. I asked myself:

“Have I really done all that I can in seeking His will since I have moved?”

If I’m honest—the answer is no.

In my desire not to sin against God by running ahead of Him, I had unintentionally stopped pursuing answers. It’s not that I had totally stopped seeking, but I simply wasn’t putting in all the effort to determine and know God’s will in this matter. I should have realized it sooner since I just wrote a series on that topic of discerning God’s will. But I didn’t. God revealed to me that even though I had not run ahead of Him,

I wasn’t running alongside Him either!

I had been dragging my feet—procrastinating. I was unknowingly in “waiting for God to put a letter in the mail” mode. I wasn’t pursuing wholeheartedly (which is step #5 in my process of determining God’s will). Why? I think because it involved some things that I simply don’t like to do—actually, hate to do. But I must lay these dislikes on the altar in order to get what I will like, and more importantly, what God likes. Psalm 25:14 tells us:

The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.

This covenant includes all the specifics for our current and individual situations.[i] If you and I want to know what our next step(s) should be in a given area, then we must reverently fear God, come to Him in humility and openness, trust that He will show us, and to do so continually and persistently. As the Lord has repeatedly shown me—

There is NO COASTING in our walk with Him.*

We have to put in the effort.

Is there an area where you are dragging your feet in doing your part? Admit it to the Lord and yourself. Then ask God to enable you to do your part. I’m in the process of doing what I know I need to do in my particular issue to actively seek God’s next step for me. Will you?

The result will be joy, peace, and effectiveness because we are walking, running, or waiting with Him!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Heb 12:1)

~~~~~

So here’s my exciting news.

That issue to which I referred was what to do next with this ministry.

I sensed God wanted to expand He’s So Worth It, but I knew I couldn’t do it alone. I desperately needed help–especially in the area of marketing. Once I took that step of obedience in what God had shown me to do (in which I was dragging my feet), He has answered my prayer. Now I have a team of people helping me further the message burning in my heart—that more Christians would experience the full riches of Christ.

This ministry has a new look, a renewed vision, and new freebies and material for you! Please pray for HSWI as we go forth for His glory.

* “The Extraordinary Woman” Day 10: Reinvesting No Coasting by Rose Noland

 

[i]See commenator Matthew Poole https://biblehub.com/commentaries/psalms/25-14.htm

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION® NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Putting on Our Spiritual Hiking Boots: Lessons from Mt Ida

Free Download

There we were, 20 years ago hiking up Mount Ida in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado. It was a tough 5 mile trek up to the nearly 13,000′ peak—a significant climb even if you are in good shape which Ed and I were back then. What made this hike especially difficult were the many large boulders we had to clamber over. With my short legs—well—you get the picture.

The rock scrambling really slowed us down. But we finally made it! The view at the top was spectacular with a 360° view. It was definitely worth the effort!

We rested, ate, and savored the glorious sight. Knowing we shouldn’t dilly dally, we reluctantly started downward. Colorado mountains are notorious for their afternoon thunderstorms and it was getting late.

Ed, being a wonderful protective husband, decided we would try a different route down to avoid the boulders. But then we lost the trail! Eventually he told me to stay put while he attempted to relocate the trail. When he got back, he said, panting “I have good news, and bad news.”

“What’s the good news?” I asked with hope in my voice.

“The good news is I found the trail. The bad news is there’s a storm brewing and the trail is that way,” as he pointed up to an area filled with boulders!

Well, it’s one thing to be psychologically geared up to ascend a mountain, but quite another to have to climb it again. Not to mention we were already weary from our journey. It was doubly hard.

We trudged along as quickly as we could. The sky got worse and soon it was raining. Fear gripped me as I envisioned twisting my ankle or falling over the rocks. Plus, we were above tree-line—on tundra, which meant we were the tallest things at that spot! So if lightning struck it would either hit Ed or me. It’s really kind of funny to think that this vertically challenged person of 5 foot was the second tallest thing on top of a mountain!

In addition to being frightened and exhausted, I was confused. That morning I had asked God if it was safe for us to go on such an arduous hike. I sensed that it was.

I cried out to God as I tried to surmount yet another large rock, “Should we not have gone, Lord? Did I misunderstand You? I thought You said it was safe for us to go.”

Suddenly I realized—we were still safe! I remembered the peace He had given me about this trip. Focusing on that kept me going instead of being paralyzed by fear.

Well, we did get back in 1 piece—shaken, spent, but safe.

~~~~~

What did I learn from this crazy experience?

  • Running into obstacles doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve made a mistake.

And even if you did, you can learn from it. Life is full of obstacles. We can either climb over them, go around them, or be stopped by them. With the Lord you can make the right choice.

  • Choosing your own way—even with right motives, often leads to unnecessary pain and greater difficulty.

You must seek God’s way.

  • Your actions affect others.

Though well-meaning, Ed made a wrong decision. We both suffered. (Mind you, I never held it against my wonderful man.)

  • God is faithful and protects His own

—despite our weaknesses or wrong choices (Ps 103:14).

  • You can learn to recognize God’s leading.

I was right when I sensed that it was ok to go. I had “heard” God correctly. My confidence in discerning God’s way increased which gave me great peace.

 

So my friends, I hope you also will learn from your experiences. I would do this crazy adventure of 20 years ago all over again!

The splendid view, memories, and lessons were well worth it!

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