So we’ve been talking of journey, of a hike with my 6-year-old daughter and how there were lessons learned to mirror the journey of faith spoken of in the Bible. One of the very most important things that I have learned since becoming a Jesus-follower when I was 18 is that our God is a God of journey. If we never go, then we never arrive. If we never journey, there will never be new places, new discoveries, new challenges, and new joys. We are called to go. Our God is a God of journey.
When A had started hearing about this hike, she had been warned about the possibility of fatigue, she had been warned of the challenge, but I also told her of the undeniable beauty of seeing a place that few people venture towards. “It will be hard sweetheart, but if we make it, you will not believe the view.” That promise and that anticipation kept her working hard towards her goal. My point? If we aren’t hiking towards something, we won’t get very far. So often in our faith walks, we are stirred by the Holy Spirit and we start to walk with God. But in time our passion wanes, our hope is dampened, and we often forget that we are called to journey towards a deeper walk with Him. Things will be very hard at times, your challenges will be immense, and often your fatigue will get the best of you. So what do you do? Do you give up? Or do you keep hiking towards the point? Because if you stop and turn back you will miss the deepest joy known to humanity– union with the Creator.
As you journey, please remember, there are always markings to follow. As the photo shows to the left, there are things left by those that have gone before to point you in the right direction. There are markings in the world left by a God who loves you– who promises to guide you. We are children of a God who wants to lead us. So often the path can seem uncertain, the direction a bit murky. And then you look up and see the marking as clear as day. God calls you to relationship with Him. If you seek Him, He will lead you towards deeper relationship. James 4:8 is great on this and is a personal motto of mine: “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” What? This seems to easy? Sure it does, but sometimes that which is truest is the simplest to digest. Like a clear white marking left on a cedar tree, the way to follow is sometimes quite obvious.
But where does this promise exist? It is in God’s very character. He created us out of His deep and boundless love for us. And because of the certainty of this love, He has promised His presence. Psalm 48:14 says, “For this God is our God for ever and ever, He will be our guide even to the end.” Does that resonate with you? Does that give you hope and stir something within? In a world that can be so shifty and we can be left feeling down and desolate so often, scripture promises God’s presence. He will lead us; He will guide us on this journey.
And so you hike. You put your head down when things get tough and you keep walking. You stop and enjoy the moments where the view over the landscape is afforded. You stop and get water and food when your body is calling for it. And you move towards the end of the journey.
My daughter and I had hiked for over an hour and a half one way, we had taken numerous water breaks and even had a near mishap when a log we were hiking down broke and sent us towards the edge. We enjoyed the view at times and hiked in silence at other times. And then we reached the point, Malcolm Point, on the far uninhabited, western shore of the island where we spend our summers. Through the thick woods we broke into the opening of the end of the hike and like a vision, the calm and gorgeous waters of Queen Charlotte Sound stretched out before us. It was so beautiful. But as we reached the end, my gaze was not on the natural beauty, but instead I waited to see the joy and discovery on my daughter’s face. And in that moment where she realized she had made it, where she took it all in and the sense of accomplishment washed over her like a wave, I knew a small measure of the Creator God’s love for me. See, He guides and leads us towards Him on our journey, waiting for us to arrive at the point where He can reveal it all to us. And He is watching us with a knowing and loving look spread across His face. And I can just hear Him saying, when we reach the end, “Well done my child, you kept hiking towards me and I have been with you the whole time.”
And that is why we journey towards Him. Thank you daughter for teaching me about God today.