Mountain Top Experiences, Part
7: The Puget Sound Trail
Our Trail ...
Their Trail ...
Last week, in MOUNT TOP EXPERIENCES, Part 6, we saw
that sometimes God's plan is different from ours, but it is always the best
one out there. But isn't there an easy way to get out of this valley of
Four summers ago my family had the privilege of visiting our good friends
who were living in the Puget Sound area of Washington State. We decided as a
group to do some hiking, and after carefully choosing a trail that would
accommodate our varying abilities, we set out.
I'm sorry to say, I can't remember the name of the mountain we climbed. All
I remember is that it was a lovely, forested climb over a well-marked trail,
and from the top, we had a lovely view of Seattle and of the Olympic
It would have been a perfect hike, except …
There were seven of us hiking that day, and as so often happens, we soon
split off into three smaller groups: My husband and youngest son were the
first in line, next came the two teenagers, and my friend and I, along with
her 3 year-old, brought up the rear. It wasn't long before the shortest legs
became tired, and the rear group soon lost sight of the ones in front. We
weren't worried, however. There was only one way up and down this mountain
and the trail was well-marked. We would eventually find them.
But we didn't. When the "slow" group arrived at the summit, my husband and
son were nowhere to be found.
The day was already waning, and our only hope was to get down the mountain
as quickly as possible and find the place where they had gotten off the
trail. Only one problem: The 3-year-old's energy was all used up. She would
not be "hurrying" off any mountain!
We sent the teens ahead to scout out the trail, instructing them to stop
every mile or so, or at any possible fork in the trail, and wait for us,
while my friend and I took turns carrying the child. It wasn't until we were
nearly at the parking lot before we finally heard the shouting of the two
teens: "We found them!"
Shortly after leaving the car, my husband and youngest son had come to a
fork in the trail, and instead of looking for the trail indicator, they had
simply taken the trail that seemed the most logical to them. Needless to
say, their trail did NOT take them to the mountain summit. Neither did it
lead them through a beautiful-forested trail! (see the pictures above)
Why didn't these two make it to the summit? Because they didn't seek the
"right" way. Instead they trusted their own understanding, and it led them
Life is so much like this. We find ourselves in bad situations, we carefully
examine the options, and then we take the path that seems the most logical.
But we fail. Oh, God! Isn't there ANY way out?
I found the answer this morning: "Humble
yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up."
(James 4:10 NKJV)
In other words, we have to stop trying to do the climb ourselves! We must
stop working out our own solutions! Our must simply do as this verse
suggests: Humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord, for when we do, He will
lift us up!
But how do we humble ourselves before God?
The answer can be found in another familiar Bible text: "…if My people
who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and
seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear
from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." (2 Chron
Basically, the secret to getting out of the valley, to
achieving humility, is outlined in three simple steps:
1. The prayer of humility. More often than not, we give God a list of what
we'd like Him to do. But this is not an attitude of humility. Instead, let's
use prayer to give God the problem, to ask Him to take care of it according
to His will, and then to help us be happy with the outcome.
2. Seeking God's face. This is simply a reference to learning to see things
from God's perspective, a reference to seeking His will above all else.
3. Turning away from wickedness. This may refer to pet sins and to searching
our souls for hidden sin. But I believe it also refers to something far more
subtle: When we desire for our will to be done in a situation, then we are
in essence saying, "God, since I know more about this situation than You do,
here is what I'd like You to do!" There is nothing more presumptuous! This
is also a sin that we must turn from!
In summary then, the secret in getting out of the valley lies in handing God
the problem in prayer and asking that His will be done above our own. It
lies in seeking to know God's heart in the matter and even if we don't see
the solution, trusting that He does. And finally, it means turning away from
our sin and our prideful self-flaunting.
And that's the secret for getting through our valley experiences.
Join us next week for the conclusion of this series: MOUNTAIN TOP
EXPERIENCES, Part 8: The Cross and Mt. Roberts.
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two
teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet
newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian
devotionals and inspirational poems,
with Answers2Prayer Ministries,