Hiking and exploring has been one of our favorite pastimes. Some of our best family trips have been to climb mountains and walk beneath waterfalls. We love exploring nature and the outdoors. Arkansas has some of the best destinations for it. From Albert Pike to Petit Jean to Pinnacle Mountain to Blanchard Caverns, Arkansas has something for everyone.
We’ve taken easy treks and we’ve done things the hard way. The hardest climb we ever attempted was the wrong side of Pinnacle Mountain. We’d never been there, so we chose to climb to the summit the hard way. I made it halfway, our daughter Melody made it a little farther. Danny and our other two children made it all the way to the top. When they arrived they discovered that the other side had rocks made into steps so that you could traverse it much easier. We did it with a few other people and held onto tree limbs, climbed over boulders and slipped in the loose soil. The ascent we chose is called “rugged”. No kidding.
For the three who made it to the top their reward was the view. It was breathtaking. You will experience a panorama of the Arkansas River and Lake Maumelle as well as the Ouachita Mountains and West Little Rock. We have gone back several times over the years. We even took our two oldest grandchildren on the hike a few years back. It is well worth the view if you are willing to go the distance. It is indeed rugged and it is not for the faint of heart.
Life has a lot of rugged terrain we all travel. There’s really not much way to avoid the trek. There are boulders of fear we come to that make us want to turn back. There is the loose soil of disappointment that threatens to cause us to lose our hold and slip. There are huge trees and dense underbrush of trials, troubles and worries that can make us lose sight of our goals. Life is indeed a climb, with a few stops along the way in beautiful meadows of God’s rest. But we are climbing and along the way we are breathless, our heart is pounding and we’re often faced with the desire to give up.
The rockiest roads lead to the highest peaks that will ultimately provide the best view.
I hear God speaking to my heart and yours: My precious child. In life there are always mountains to climb. Unlike hiking, you don’t get to choose which mountains or when they will come into your life. But you can choose Me as your mountain guide. I will help you over boulders, I will carry you beyond the slippery soil and I will assist you in achieving the heights. Once we have arrived at the top I promise the view will be spectacular. As you go through life’s challenges you can get confused by all the troubles, work and obstacles. But once you’re at the top you can view it all in perspective. You will see that I was with you all the time, all the way. You will rejoice that although you wanted to turn back or you thought you would surely slip to your death, you made it. The view of faith’s achievements shows you just how much I love you and how greatly I care for you. Viewing the difficulties you are facing is hard, but you can do it with Me. But going past the difficulties and seeing it all from the pinnacle will show the grand scheme of all I AM to your life. In the fullness of time, when you see it all with Me you will know that I cared for you all the way and you will know the purpose beyond the pain. Not only will you know that I got you to the top, you will see Me more clearly and know Me more inimately because you have experienced Me through it all.
Oh beloved, are you trudging through the rubble or are you scaling the heights? Are the sheer drops about you causing you great fear or are you looking at your Savior? Keep your eyes on Him and refer back to your guidebook often. For even when you think you have gotten off track or were sent around a wrong path, God will keep you headed straight for your goal. He loves you and He’s for you and that’s why He’s with you all the way. Trust Him, hold onto Him and rejoice with Him when you make it to the top!
Habakkuk 3:19 The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]! Amplified
I Samuel 12:22 The Lord will not abandon His people, because that would dishonor His great name. For it has pleased the Lord to make you His very own people.
Hebrews 12:2a fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…
Psalm 66:8-9 Let the whole world bless our God and loudly sing His praises. Our lives are in His hands, and He keeps our feet from stumbling.