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Over the long weekend my family and I went camping in the mountains. Four days free from technology and it was just what I needed.

Sunday afternoon we decided to take a family hike up to a cross on the mountain. From where we stood it really didn’t look too far, and I was sure even my 6-year-old could handle it.

Most of us were excited and anticipated a nice walk together as we chatted and enjoyed the outdoors.

All too quickly the mountain side became steep and it continued to be steep. I began to wonder if it was going to be to difficult for the younger ones. I thought “Maybe we should go back.” “This is really hard.” But I believed the cross wasn’t too far and we could handle it. I noticed if I just focused on the few steps in front of me instead of the huge hill we still had to climb it felt easier.

We had stopped along the way a couple of times as kids lost their footing and scraps needed attending. Again I wondered if we should continue on.

At one point the trail was moving away from the cross and instead of turning left it was heading right. My kids wondered at that, Why would the path lead in the wrong direction?

The sun seemed hotter the farther up we went, and I kept waiting for the way to become easier. But it didn’t.

As we turned the corner, I knew we were almost there and the spirit pricked my soul. This hike had become a tool to teach me what God wanted me to know.

The hike was representative of struggles I have been facing. The way has been hard at times, and I have had to sit down and cry from the injuries or pain it has caused.

There have been moments when I have wanted the trial gone. And I have cried out “this is too hard, can’t there be another way?”  But with God’s help I picked myself back up again, kept my head focused on the next step, and moved on.

The hardest moments seem to be when I feel I am being lead on a path that is not going in the direction I thought it should. Why am I veering right when I have been praying for the road to go left?  Those moments when prayers I have pleaded for over and over again seem to be unheard.

The moment the spirit touched me, I was still maybe 20 yards away from the cross. I felt Him say to me. “This is where you are now. You have come so far. What would happen if you gave up now?  What would you lose?”

It’s those moments when I am closest to reaching my goal or closest to seeing my prayers answered that Satan will attack the hardest. He wants me to give up and to lose faith. It doesn’t matter to him if I do that at the bottom of the hill and never start or if he gets me to turn back in the last minute. He wins when I quit trying.

And then my eyes looked forward.  On this hike I knew I was almost there and I wondered if I could take greater courage and faith the next time I feel Satan telling me to give up.

  When we reached the cross the view was stunning.

 My little family and I had done it. And all I could think was “We can do hard things.”

We talked on the top for a while and the kids shared what they were feeling and I felt so close to God and so close to my family. One of my daughters felt walking to the cross was symbolic of our journey to understanding what our Savior did for us on the cross.

My trials may feel like climbing mountains at times, or even many mountains, but I have felt the Lord carry me and lift me when the way becomes too much. Looking back down the mountain, once at the top, it is always easier to see how He has guided me and watched over me and even stretched me so that I could experience the beauty He has in store for me and my family. I pray I can see more clearly His hand even in the hardest of moments.

We need strength beyond ourselves to keep the commandments in whatever circumstance life brings to us. … The combination of trials and their duration are as varied as are the children of our Heavenly Father. No two are alike. But what is being tested is the same, at all times in our lives and for every person: will we do whatsoever the Lord our God will command us?” —Henry B. Eyring

1 Comment

  1. Another great analogy, to life’s trials and tests.

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