Hidden Message on the Climb


Temple Mt., Alberta, Canada

Of the places I most enjoy vacationing (and there are many), I most enjoy the mountains. I can enjoy the ocean as well, but there is something that impacts me when I am in the mountains and nurtures me in ways I cannot totally describe.


In the course of our marriage, my husband and I have enjoyed adventuring into many parts of the continental United States and Canada.


On these treks we have walked and hiked the trails of the Longfellow Mountains, Green Mountains, Berkshire Mountains, Adirondack Mountains, Allegheny Mountains, Blue Ridge Mountains, and the Great Smokey Mountains in the eastern Appalachian Mountain Ranges.


In the Rocky Mountain western United States we have explored the Bighorn, Absaroka, San Juan, and Bitterroot ranges. Glacier National Park in northern Montana nudged us to look beyond the border into the ranges in Alberta and British Columbia. Ranges like Kootenay, Banff-Lake Louise, Kananaskis, and Assiniboine added to our wonder of God’s creation.


When we first began to explore the mountains, what most caught my attention were the breath-taking views from the areas near the tops of the mountains. Looking out over the expanse spoke to me of the greatness of God and His creation. Somehow the view always helped to put things into perspective for me and quieted the noise inside my heart and head.


The more we walked some of these trails and learned about the different trees, soils, and types of mountains we were seeing, the greater and broader the canvas became.


It was in our treks onto the trails of the northern Rocky Mountains of Montana and then those in Alberta and British Columbia that I began to discover treasures hidden nearer my feet.


No matter how rocky and steep the path and no matter how thin or sandy the soil, life was coming forth.

Wild Rose, Alberta, Canada

My eyes began to scour the edges of the trails at my feet for these less massive evidences of God’s creation.

Berries in Canadian Rockies

Here I discovered varieties of flowers and berries I had never seen before.


These smaller works of art spoke other messages hidden to hikers more eager to reach the summit.


IMG_0864What did I hear and see?


I heard Him reminding me that He can call forth life in places others might consider barren. He reminded me that He creates beauty in areas that can seem desolate.


God calls forth life in every corner of creation.


Sometimes it can be hidden. It can be hidden in the devastation left by a forest fire or a raging storm. It can be obscured from view because we are looking for grand displays rather than secret evidences of life.




Sometimes our eyes have simply grown dull from weariness, loss of hope, or a barrage of things that kill rather than bring forth in life.


In many ways, these small masterpieces are not unlike the parables Jesus told.




Jesus used parables to speak about God’s kingdom. Within these stories were hidden the mysteries of the kingdom so that only those who were sincerely seeking would find the kernel of truth.



Committed climbers and serious seekers uncover the deeper things He wants to share with us.


If we are such, then He longs to delight us and fill our hearts with hope as He shows us the undiscovered gems He has laid aside for us if we are looking for them.


These truths are also meant to remind us that even if our life has been stripped to seeming barrenness and devastation, the Lord is also calling forth life as well as beauty.


It can be easy to only see the wreckage, but I think He would invite us to look more carefully, more closely. When we do, our eyes will begin to adjust to see what we had missed.


We will discover life.


We will receive hope.


We will discover Him.


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18 thoughts on “Hidden Message on the Climb

  1. Beautiful post and love the photos too Pam! You speak some wise truths here. We must look to God with purpose and intention. Then He will reveal the “truths” to guide us in every situation. I love using pictures of mountains as I too love the views but literally not a big fan of heights plus some scary missteps on a mountain hike as a young boy have kept me admiring from a distance:) Thank you for sharing such a thought provoking post. Have a wonderful weekend and may God continue to bless you and yours!

  2. As an avid rock climber, hiker, alpinist, and mountaineer, I simply adore this post!! God also draws my attention in the mountains and uses nature to put my heart at rest. I love the refreshment in the simply truth that God draws forth life from unlikely places. I will be featuring this post tomorrow for our next round of the Grace & Truth link-up. Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

  3. As an avid rock climber, hiker, alpinist and mountaineer, I simply adore this post!! God also rests my heart most in the mountains, He uses nature to get my attention a lot. I’m so thankful for the refreshment you’ve shared in the simplest fact that God calls forth life in unlikely places. I love it!! I will be featuring this post for our next round of the Grace & Truth link-up, thank you so much for sharing it with us!

  4. So true! I love capturing those gems with my camera when hiking in the mountains, or even just walking the urban paths around my home. God has paid attention to the details and we can embrace the wonder of it all when we do too.

  5. I’m always amazed at the places where life finds a way. Even in the cracks of the sidewalk! Is that last pic from Alaska? Looks like fireweed to me. I LOVE Alaska!!!

    1. The last pic is actually somewhere in Alberta or British Columbia….I cannot recall which. We have not made it as far north as Alaska as yet.

  6. Oh you, courageous adventurer, you!

    And the lessons learned, the insights gleaned, the bounty you share … fruitful indeed, Pam. What a feast.

  7. Hi Pam! I think it’s a good metaphor for decluttering our lives and spirits too. If mountain climbers saw these flowers in the middle of meadow, or garden, it wouldn’t have meant very much. But when the decks are cleared, even the smallest sign of life is reason to rejoice!

    Your photos of the little flowers are so precious. It reminds me of our visit to Mt. Rushmore. There is a walkway around the mountain, all rock and loose chunks of rock too. Wouldn’t you know I saw a little flower growing out of a little space between the cement steps and the railing. Life is a powerful force.

    1. Thanks for enjoying some of my photos. We were at Mt. Rushmore this past summer and know the area of which you speak. We ran into a couple of mountain goats there! Life is indeed a very powerful force! Hugs and love, my friend!

  8. I am always glad to find myself YOUR neighbor (#26 at Beth’s today). Now, I am wondering if you were the couple we shared a table with in Northern Idaho – mentioned in my blog today. Interesting!!! We live in the Blue Ridge Mtn Range of the Appalachians! I was raised in the waves but it is definitely mountains that draws my soul. xo

    1. I don’t think so, but we have had many adventures west….not in northern Idaho as yet. The Blue Ridge area is beautiful. We have close friends who moved to Charlottesville to retire and we visit them several times a year. We also have a lovely B & B we like to visit in the Black Mountain area. Enjoy your great views!! Blessings!

  9. I love this! I grew up in the Rockies (in Colorado). They are home, and I love how they show His faithfulness and strength. And they are wild! And I too have wondered at how life can grow in the most barren places. Thank-you for this beautiful reminder.

    1. Thanks, Brooke! Our first trip west from OH was to Colorado and we fell in love on the very first visit with these beautiful places. So glad to have you stop by!

  10. What words of hope these are for pressing on, trusting to the eyes of our All-Seeing God who creates life in our most unlikely places and times.
    Precious words for a Wednesday morning . . .

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