Outdoor fun and trials…
I love being outdoors and taking in all nature has to offer. It has such a peaceful and calming effect on me. Camping, hiking, fishing and hunting are a few things that I enjoy.
To go camping you don’t just go. You pick the location. You gather food and supplies. You pack the vehicle or camper. You drive to the destination. You set up camp by leveling your camper or staking down the tent. You unpack the vehicle. You swim, ski or fish. You share meals with friends and family. Roast marshmallows and enjoy a couple of days or longer before you pack it all up and head home. But sometimes problems arise. The hot water heater in the camper may not work. Or the tent may leak. Or racoons run off with your food. Or your favorite spot was already taken by another camper.
The same is true with hiking. That wonderful hike can start with the sun shining, the birds singing! Then the weather can turn and a rainstorm can quickly pass through leaving you drenched and the temperature humid and sticky. Or maybe you sprain your ankle or fall down the hill. Or you end up with poison ivy/oak.
Maybe you’re driving down the road with your boat on its trailer and singing along with the radio and you have a flat on the trailer. Now you have to try to get the tire changed “if” you have a spare for your trailer. Or maybe you made it to the lake and you’ve hooked a monster of a fish and your rod is bent and your reel is screaming! You are fighting the fish of your dreams when the line suddenly breaks. Or while boating across the water to your favorite fishing spot your rod and reel bounce out of the boat into the deep blue yonder. Or perhaps you land the fish and get the hook stuck in your hand.
How about going hunting and you have spent the night before sighting in your gun, collecting your ammo, practicing with your bow, getting snacks, drink, calls, laundering your hunting clothes with products to de-scent them. You go to bed late, but get up before daylight to get to your stand or ground blind. You get settled in and begin the waiting game for the sun to rise and the big game to show himself. And that’s when you realize you forgot your license.
But with all that enjoyment comes work, problems and sometimes pain and discomfort. So why do it you ask? Because the payoff is amazing! The examples I described don’t reflect wondering how to pay this month’s bills. The pain of illness. The heartbreak of losing a loved one. Thinking why despite my best efforts of doing the right thing can I not catch a break?
The bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 4: 17 “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
Romans 8: 18 “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
Life is not a series of perfect events. Some days are closer to it than others. The memories made from camping with friends and family. The view after hiking to the top of the mountain. That trophy buck you tag when he walked into the shooting zone at the break of dawn. Landing that massive fish after a thirty-minute fight. It’s the positive end result that keeps us coming back for more. That blissful joy we anticipate on each attempt.
Life with Jesus is the same. There are ups and downs. Some days we are on top of the mountain with Him and everything is perfect. And there are those days where we feel like we are rolling down that mountain at a high rate of speed without a soft landing in sight. Jesus is that soft landing spot. Our comfort.
2 Corinthians 1: 3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort”
2 Corinthians 1: 5 “For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”
That blissful joy we anticipate at the end of our race here on earth is what keeps us moving forward in God’s word. Knowing that he has been here on earth, been through trials and understands and loves us.
John 16: 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
1 John 5: 4 “for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”
1 John 5:5 “Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God”
Unlike life on earth, we do not know if each day will end as we hoped and planned. But we have a certainty of our future as believers in Jesus that our last day here is the start of pure bliss for eternity.
John 14: 2 “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?”
John 14: 3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”