When I was a little girl, every summer my family and I would camp and hike. I have very clear memories of me, the youngest of four kids, always trailing behind everyone else as we hiked. I was always the first one to get tired, the first one to start complaining – I’m sure I drove everyone else crazy with irritation! At one point in the trail, the road became much, much steeper (at least to my little legs) and every time I would feel like I just couldn’t take another step.
Here’s another memory that is imprinted into my brain – just when I felt as though I was going to give up, my dad would slow up and wait for me. “It’s hard now, I know” he would say, “but just wait – a few more turns and we will be at the top”. He would take my hand and walk with me for a while, pointing out rocks and birds and maybe a lizard. At the top of the trail was a beautiful mountain meadow with wide open skies and ringed with even higher snowy peaks. The memory of the meadow is for me, not nearly as clear as the beautiful picture of my dad patiently walking beside me.
Our circumstances feel like they have been getting steeper and steeper. There are times I must confess that I have doubts and fears about what is coming next on the path. My dad passed away a number of years ago, but right now, in the middle of the uncertainty of still being closed down and yet opening up, I hear his words, “It’s hard now, but just wait….”
The One who sees the trail ahead is with us every step of the way, encouraging us in our journeying.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11