Three Lessons from a Hike
Not long ago, I took a hike up Mount Yonah alone, and as I climbed the mountain for the very first time in my life, I was reminded of three things.
- The ease of getting off course. As I hiked up, I found myself at various moments to be on what looked to be the trail, but what turned out to not be the trail. So it is with the Christian’s pilgrimage to Glory. The world, with all its flashy signs, blaring entertainment, and appealing temptations, makes it easy for the Christian to veer off course without even realizing it. Our own flesh will even blind us to the reality of our current course, and if it were not for the markers given to us by the Holy Spirit through the Word, the Christian would be doomed. But praise be to God who doesn’t allow his beloved saints to get off course for too long! He is faithful in preserving them! Like in Bunyan’s famous allegory, The Pilgrim’s Progress, when Christian had gotten off the way to the Celestial City, God, in his goodness, always got Christian back in the way. So, when the saint has found himself off the narrow path, he can look to Christ, his Word, and his Church for the markers to get back on the way to the Celestial City.
- The gracious moments of rest along the Way. Much like during Christian’s journey in The Pilgrim’s Progress, this mountain has small spots of rest that provide glimpses of a glorious view to come at the top. Christian had houses to stop and rest his head at with good company and good conversation like he would experience in the Celestial City, and so it was with this hike. There was a large overlook about half way up the mountain, another overlook tucked away about three-quarters of the way up, and the view at the top with plenty of space to rest. I reminds me of the many moments of peace the Lord graciously provides to his saints on their way to him. In Psalm 23:2 David says, “[God] makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.” God is the always the One who provides these moments of rest, but sometimes he even forces the rest upon us because we neglect to take them. However, it’s all of his grace in order to restore and strengthen the weary souls of his pilgriming saints.
- The beauty and glory to be revealed in the end is worth everything along the Way. The hike up Mount Yonah was a tough one, especially since I had gotten off of the trail and took steeper paths than needed. The only thing that kept me going was the hope of seeing the view at the top, and once I got there, I was most certainly not disappointed. The view while sitting atop Mount Yonah was amazing, and it made me yearn to see the Celestial City. But I can only imagine what the Glorious City will be like since there’s a view as good as this on earth, and there’s countless better views that I haven’t even seen. How radiant will Glory be? How majestic will God’s presence be? O saint, as you journey on in joyful obedience to King Jesus, do you think of the beauty of seeing the Almighty God in full array of splendor and majesty? I urge you to think on these excellencies because they will help you to endure as you journey to the Celestial City where God’s presence will surround you in fullness forever!
I will leave you with 2 Peter 1:3-7:
“[God’s] divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.”
When you get off course, look to Jesus. When you’re weary and tired, look to Jesus. When you feel you can’t go on any longer, look to Jesus. For he has provided us with his precious and very great promises all throughout his Word.