“They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. Acts 14:21-22
The hiking boots were brand new, a gift from several girlfriends who knew about the honeymoon that had been planned. The time came to put them on, in anticipation of our first hike as a married couple.
As we expectantly headed towards the summit, blisters began to form on my feet. The hike was hard. Rain clouds began to gather, and by the time we neared the top, it was obvious that we would be drenched by a downpour on our way down. Our plan to stay in a tent that night was also a “no go” because campsites were flooded. The only good news was that my husband had packed rain ponchos which we wore on our descent, and we were able to find a hotel where we could get warm and dry that night!
How many times has a day started out so wonderfully, only to be “dampened” by circumstances beyond our control?
Blisters, tiredness, and a storm kept me from reaching the summit that day and surveying the view, but I learned valuable lessons from that hike (like breaking in boots and conditioning myself ahead of time, and accepting rain and mud as a reality of life!). Later in our marriage, a week-long hike along the West Coast Trail (5 days of rain!) proved to be equally challenging, but I was more prepared for how hard it would be!
The Christian life is like a life-long hike! And we should not be surprised by difficulties, but instead learn to embrace hardship as a friend throughout life’s journey to heaven.
Father God, we are your children, and we don’t know what lies ahead of us, but we know that you travel with us! Please help us to see our daily hardships as an important part of the journey! Amen.
Today confess your disappointments to God. Ask him to help you accept them and learn from them, allowing him to develop a more prepared and positive spirit in you.
By Karen Woodard
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