Northern Arizona is a beautiful place to be. There is so much to do outdoors, and I never tire of it! (Well, not in the warmer months anyway!)
This past weekend was another adventure to enjoy the great outdoors. Sedona Arizona is only about an hour away from home, and it is a special place for my handsome hubby and I. We have been there literally countless times! While we’re there, we love to hike and explore.
This past time we headed out to explore and a place called climb Bell Rock.
Years ago, I had given in and finally decided to buy a pair of hiking shoes. I had previously resisted because, personally, I think they are ugly. They are bulky and they’re not cute or colorful. They are just all around clunky, ugly shoes. Vain? Probably. I much prefer some cute tennis shoes (though I seldom wear those either except to exercise) But I did give in and purchase a pair, and what a game changer they have been!
This trip was one where I knew I would need them. Bell Rock is absolutely beautiful, and it is exactly what it says it is, a gigantic bell shaped rock! It’s not a dirt path, or a trail, it is a rock.
So the hubs and I started out by making the short hike to the foot of the rock. We extended our hiking poles, checked our water, and just before we started to make our way up the face of the rock, the hubs said to me “trust your shoes”.
Now, these shoes have grip. They help me avoid slipping on the smooth surfaces of the rock or terrain as I have climbed. These shoes have a firm sole, one that provides stability to me when things are a bit shaky and I might fall. These shoes and I have a history. I have climbed and hiked with them many times and have learned to trust them. They have stopped me from slipping, falling, and hurting myself over and over. They have been a worthwhile investment.
As we were climbing up higher and higher, I didn’t dare let myself look back, or down. I had to keep moving forward and upward to get to the height of Bell Rock, which was the goal. There were times when I was practically crawling up the face of this great rock to make it to our destination. The rock can be smooth and slick in places, challenging me to stay focused. I was a tad bit afraid, (because no one wants to fall to their death) But being afraid doesn’t make me weak, it makes me aware. I kept pressing on toward the top, and I kept trusting my shoes.
2 Corinthians 5:7 says, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
Let’s face it, life itself can be slippery. We can’t always see where we’re headed. It can be shaky and full of change (and not the kind of change we like). If you are in such a season, I hear you. I have been there, done that. And I know I’ll be doing it again at same point, that’s just how life is. But we can decide to walk by faith when we can’t see the way. Walking in faith that God knows best. And having faith that His will is perfect.
So how do we do that when things get rough, slippery and shaky? How do we learn to “trust our shoes”?
We can start with the practice of recalling the times in your life where God has brought us through. I mean, you’ve survived your worst day, and you’re still here aren’t you? Try to intentionally bring to mind instances where you imagined “the worst” (as we all do) and yet, things turned out okay. Begin to search for the happenings in God’s word, where He brought about His best result in spite of difficult circumstances.
- Daniel was thrown into a den of lions
- David was chased by King Saul who wanted to kill him
- Paul was imprisoned, more than once
- Rahab hid spies on her roof to spare her family’s life from an attacking army
- Esther boldly asked the king (who could have had her killed) to spare her people from being massacred
In all of these situations, something very “shaky” was happening. Each person had real fears. Still, they chose to place their trust in God. It was a purposeful choice. One I’m sure that they made repeatedly. And God allowed good to come from their circumstance. Remember, the same God that made a way in the past, will make a way this time too.
Understand that you can be afraid yet trust Him at the same time.
Psalm 56:3 says “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” The psalmist was admittedly afraid, but he chose to put his trust in God. Peace comes when we realize that we can’t always “fix” our own circumstance. It’s only by turning things over to the one who holds the power of life in His hands, that we can be at rest.
He is our firm foundation. Psalm 18:2 “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer, my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge” Read that again.
Friend, whatever has you in knots today, whatever you feel is too much to handle, He knows. He sees you. He loves you and He desires your best.
Will you trust Him?