Recently my mom and I drove to the mountains of Colorado to visit my brother’s family and newborn. I’m really not a good driver. And I think my mom picked up on that!
Our drive to Colorado did lend us a few wrong turns and lots of bathroom breaks. But we managed to keep rolling on as we sipped our good coffee and caught up on much-needed girl gab time!
And as the miles wore on, I found it easy to drift into a more relaxed headspace as I took in all the unfamiliar scenery. Ironically, however, the scenery didn’t seem to change much for the majority of our trip. We drove for hours and hours eager to catch our first glimpse of the Rocky Mountains. But all we saw were amber waves of grain, EVERYWHERE!
I looked at the clock to gauge our ETA and then wondered, “Where are the mountains? Surely we should be seeing those purple peaks by now!”
My inner child whined, “Will we ever get there?”
It took roughly another hour and a half down the road before I finally spotted the first peaks! When I saw them, I squealed so loudly that I nearly scared my mom out of her seat! But there they were–glorious and majestic as they towered over the horizon.
What a marvel!
Once we arrived, we found ourselves nestled along the base of the Rocky Mountains. From every angle, they were stunning! Autumn was in full motion in the mountains. The aspens were golden, the pines fragrant, and the air crisp, chilly, and encouraging of all things flannel.
My soul sang with the opportunity to step into the canvas of the beauty of God’s creation!
But our trip was not long-lived. Two and a half days later we found ourselves journeying back home. Soon after getting back, I felt recharged and ready to resume my usual activities.
This week I looked forward to catching up with a special friend. We often enjoyed getting together to talk, especially about the things we were going through or what we saw the Lord doing in our lives.
Often when we talked I found that some of the things she was working through seemed to mirror my own from the past. The ones that I felt like would go on forever. The ones that often had me praying, “God, will we ever get there?”
During one particular season, my lack of progress seemed stuck on repeat, and the hope of change and victory far-fetched. Like the mountain peaks hidden away by endless grassy plains, my much-needed breakthrough appeared elusive at the time. I often felt discouraged.
But looking back over that season, I now saw the hand of the Lord in my struggle differently. I no longer saw the Lord aloof in the process, but rather, very involved. I saw how He left no area of my troubles untouched.
All the pain and hurt, was like the Lord cleaning out the wounds of my heart. I saw how He removed every piece of gravel, and every blade of grass so my “wound” would not be hindered from full healing. I also understood now that the time frame of everything was based on my ability to learn and grow, not His inactivity.
And I marveled. The God who formed the incredible mountains I visited, had also diligently worked to heal and transform my heart from my hurts.
Each day progress was being made whether I experienced success or failure on my road to healing. With each setback, I learned how to draw closer to God. With each success, I learned how to walk in greater victory with Christ.
This daily grind taught me not to put hope in my ability to change but in His ability to change me!
Each success was rightly His and now provided a bedrock of reliable testimony to His undeniable work in my life.
This was now my hope and prayer for my dear friend. That God would show up and do the impossible for her, as well!
I marvel at how God knows just how to save us. Triumph over pain and heartbreak are His specialties. Redemption from the hurt of our past and regeneration of our stubborn hearts, do not detour His work in us.
Paul encourages us in Romans 8:24-25 by explaining, “For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”
Like mountain peaks hidden from the horizon, our perspective from the valley of personal struggle leaves us unable to see the breakthrough just beyond view. Sometimes it can seem like we are just never going to “get there.”
But God is always at work.
He drives our lives along the path. The scenery may not seem to change much. But there will be a day where we will finally be able to see His redemptive work on the horizon of our lives. And until that day comes, we can be patient but confident in the hope found only in Him.
We are His handiwork.
And His work is marvelous!