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