Life-Giving Words
January 8, 2013
Are You Getting What You Don’t Deserve?
January 10, 2013
Life-Giving Words
January 8, 2013
Are You Getting What You Don’t Deserve?
January 10, 2013

Hiking Through Life with the Psalmist Part 2

The Beginning

Every hike has a beginning—a trailhead. There is a lot of excitement and expectation in the air. My wife and I are always ready in anticipation for the new trail. She usually is lead hiker and I bring up the rear. For me, having a companion on the journey makes the hike more pleasurable—someone to share the trials and the joys of the walk. The faraway mountain peak doesn’t seem so far.

He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places. (Psalm 18:33)

At this point, I feel like I can tackle any mountain. I’m like a deer ready to dash up the mountain. I have my gear, my water, my snacks, and I’m ready to roll. Having hiked many of the mountain trails, I have quickly learned that they are mostly uphill—and steep.

Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast. (Psalm 36:6)

It isn’t too long before the excitement wears off. The hike up the mountains turns into a trudge. That faraway mountain top—the destination—seems like it is getting farther away rather than closer. The trail gets steeper.

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. Psalm 121:1)

Life has many struggles. It often is like an uphill battle. Nothing comes easy. It can be a struggle to take the next step.

We once hiked a trail called Tearbritches. It was downhill for three miles and the destiny was a beautiful river where we sat and ate lunch. Unfortunately, what went steeply down meant the reverse trip was steeply up. Sometimes it was only ten steps before we paused to catch our breath. It took everything we had to make it back to the top. I had cramps from salt loss and we used up our water. It was a real struggle.

Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity:I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide. (Psalm 26:1)

Life has those moments where the struggle is so severe that giving up seems like a good option. When I was scoutmaster leading young boys up a long hot mountain trail, it wasn’t long before I began to hear “Are we there yet?” My answer would always be, “It’s just around the next bend.” The blessing is just around the next bend.

My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me. (Psalm 38:10)

I think the Psalmist experienced the tough hike up the mountain. Every trail has a few places where it temporarily levels out and the hiking is easier even if only for a brief moment. Many steep trails have switchbacks—zigzagging up the side of the mountain. Life is easier with a few zigzags. It makes it more interesting as well as creates a more enjoyable experience.