[ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Harmony McMillan is a teacher, traveler, tennis afficianado, avid Pinner and a very proud Aunty. God’s great love calls her to a life of deep gratitude, joy, and love for others.]
Last summer I spent a week in Oregon with one of my best friends. As all good Oregonian travelers must do, we packed our lunches and set off on a hike. It wasn’t long before I was huffing and puffing up the side of this baby mountain (and mourning the fact I had spent more time drinking iced capps than I had working out in the month prior). I was certain my backpack had morphed itself into a piano. I stuck to my game plan: head to the ground, keep the legs moving, keep breathing, don’t die, and whatever you do, don’t look up to see the friend’s husband scaling the rocks like a freaking antelope. My friend and I finally stopped midway up, catching our breath under the green canopy of trees. We pressed on, but it wasn’t thirty metres of hiking before the green turned to blue. We found ourselves at a clearing — tree-clad hills and valleys below us, blue sky above us. I breathed in the beauty of the view. I couldn’t see it from where I had stopped in the trees; I had no idea how close I was.
Life seems to involve a lot of hiking. We work, we strain, we push, we just keep moving. We become weary and worn-out. Sometimes it feels like the clearing will never arrive, or, at least we really can’t see it through the trees. We press on because we have faith that the green will turn to blue, and that breakthrough is much closer than we can see, feel or know.
Hope walks alongside us up that mountain (or prairie hill). Hope knows our weary bones, hope has walked in our tired shoes. Hope calls us to keep “walking by faith and not by sight”. Hope “fills us completely with joy and peace” as we wait, and as we walk. Hope is “the one who was, and is, and is to come”.
You, oh, Lord are our hope.
Our hope is in You alone, Lord. We fix our eyes on You, giver and sustainer of life, hope of every heart, our help, shield and strength. You have already walked that long road ahead of us. You have endured the cross and overcome the grave. Walk alongside us now and fill us with your hope as we wait. Thank you for mountain-top clearings that breathe new life into our bones, remind us that You are with us, and that the best is yet to come.