This past week I had no cell service, as I joined my family in Alaska for a refreshing week of nature hikes and being constantly surrounded by God’s beautiful creation.
As I was gearing up for my trip, I was super excited to see God’s creation. Obviously, we’re surrounded by His creation all the time, but I was looking forward to being awed by Alaska…and I certainly was. The first day, within a few hours, we saw salmon swimming upstream, a black bear and her cub catching salmon and then a bald eagle. Every time, I saw (or thought I saw) an eagle, salmon or seals I would get super excited. I think God loves watching us get excited and awed by His creation.
As we watched the salmon jump and throw themselves against rocks in the opposite direction the waterfall was flowing, we were basically watching them head to their death. Not to be morbid. They die soon after making their way upstream.
The salmon literally die so their children can live. It was amazing to watch them, but also kind of sad. They went through so much pain. No matter how long we stood there watching them, the salmon continued to try and get further and further upstream. They didn’t give up.
The next day, we hiked a mountain. The mountain was just under 3,000 feet in elevation. The beginning was pretty easy as the trail began with a clear rocky path and stairs, but then as we got closer to the peak of the mountain the trail became more treacherous. No more stairs. We were almost rock climbing for part of it. A friend joked that he could call the Coast Guard helicopter to come get us, but I wasn’t joking when I replied he should seriously call them.
I wasn’t injured. I wasn’t about to fall off the mountain, even though the edge was within reaching distance. The last several hundred feet were HARD. I felt like giving up.
I wished I had a pair of Dorothy’s ruby red slippers, so I could wish my way back down the mountain.
No matter how hard I wanted to give up, I thought of the salmon I had watched just the day before throw themselves up into the air as they came crashing back down against the rocks, but they never gave up.
If salmon don’t give up, neither should I.
I didn’t give up. We made it safely to the top where the view was incredible. Besides stepping into soft mud that swallowed my right foot and giving my pair of shoes a proper burial into the Alaskan rubbish after the hike was completed, none of us were injured. Sure, we may have been sore for days afterwards, but the feeling of accomplishment was amazing.
What would’ve happened if I had chosen to give up?
I may still be on that mountain top waiting for a helicopter to come to my rescue.
Imagine if I had given up before reaching the top and seeing the incredible view. I would’ve seriously missed out.
The trials and trails that may come into our lives may seem like they have no end. We may feel like we are just waiting on God to take this trial from us.
We may feel like giving up.
If we choose to give up, though, we will be missing out on all that God has for us. We will only find out what those blessings will be, if we choose to not give up.
God will give the strength needed. We need to trust that He knows what He is doing.
We may be staring at a mountaintop in front of us that looks way too steep and rocky. We feel like we have barely any strength left.
We’ve got to dig deep. Summon that courage that God has placed in you.
Don’t give up now.
The view from the top is worth fighting for.