We arrived early morning, very excited for the day ahead and looking forward to some quality time together in the beautiful outdoors. We started off real strong and highly motivated, and within ten minutes we had gotten lost.
“Ok, no problem, let’s just retrace our steps to the start and try again.”
The second time around seemed as if we got it right. It was quite the guessing game, as the starting point had no visible sign and to us – a few inexperienced city slickers – well, a tree looked like a tree, looked like a tree. But as we progressed it appeared as if we had got it right, so we kept going.
We had read the brochures and the website, and accordingly we were going to walk through beautiful mountainous terrain and a cave, cross over some awesome streams and pass by waterfalls, and even swim in a rock pool. We couldn’t wait. Alas, however, not many sights of any stream, and we kind of stumbled onto (what we assumed) were the rock pool, but we couldn’t be sure if this is the one we could swim in. The lack of trail markings had really thrown us for a loop and the sense of uncertainty slowly diminished the fun we had prepared for on the day. After all, the trail was supposed to be 5 miles long (8km) and we felt fit enough for that, but we were not prepared for how things turned out.
Eventually it became clear we had gotten lost... again, and finally, when we found someone with even half an idea of how to get back to our car, it turned out we would have walked double the distance to get back home. Our feet was already showing signs of blisters, the afternoon sun was toasty, the water supply was running low and the sun would set in just two or so hours. Heaven forbid we be stuck in the wilderness in the dark.
Attitudes started nosediving (fast) as emotions started running wild and even a few tears were cried. And all I could think was “Pull up! Pull up!" Right there, right then was the moment that could make the difference between lying down and dying in the desert, or getting out alive.
I thought of the movies I’ve seen where people have to survive in the wild in cold, dark and dangerous conditions with predators prowling around in the dark almost as if they could smell the fear, and how everyone with a “lie down and die” attitude did not survive. The ones who made it out were those who were able to fight the fight in their head; the ones who refuse to quit, who chose to be courageous and do what they had to to get back home; the ones who kept their focus and acted like they were going to make it. By golly, I was determined to be one of those!
When the Israelites had the first opportunity to enter the Promised Land they sent twelve spies to check it out. Ten came back with detrimental reports on how huge the giants were and how there was no way they could be defeated – how they were like grasshoppers in their sight. But two spies looked at the same land through the eyes of faith – they took God on His promise – and they saw a land filled with milk and honey - same land, same giants. Right there was the moment the nation had to choose whether they were going to lie down and die, or pluck up their faith and courage and do it! Because God said they could.
Are you facing a difficult situation today and all you feel like doing is giving up? Have you lost your hope that nothing is too hard for God, or have you been trying in your own strength and failed? What you choose in this moment will make all the difference whether you die in the wilderness of your hardship, or make it through alive to your Promised Land. Will you have fear or will you have faith?
Sometimes the battle is hard and you feel a whole bunch of emotions you don’t know what to do with. Feelings are normal because we’re human. But you know what? It’s ok to cry as you cross the finish line. Who cares about smudged make-up or bruised egos? And besides, feelings change all the time. Don’t chain yourself to it. And when the going gets tough remind yourself that the only step you need to take right at any moment, is the ONE right in front of you – not the next ten or fifty steps. Keep your eye on that finish line. What matters most is that you cross it!
Do what you can and let God take care of the rest. He who promised is faithful. Rest if you must, but don't you quit!