Before our 6th anniversary hiking trip where we were going to see six waterfalls in six days, we had read a review that said, “Be sure to look up at the overlook to see the Window Cliffs, or you might miss it.”
Sure enough, after we had hiked about two miles, we arrived to an “overlook” of the beautiful Window Cliffs. The Window Cliffs are about 200 feet ABOVE the overlook. That’s more than 20 stories up. When we looked ahead into the horizon, all we could see were trees. When we looked up, we say the beauty was way above us, with jagged, majestic cliffs with a large hole in the middle to peek through, giving the cliffs a window
This experience took a bit of a switch to get used to looking up most of the time. Most of the time when we hike, we have to look down much of the time to ensure our footing is secure.
However, there are times when God calls us to pause, and look up at His beauty, and just to gaze on Him.
As I sit here and write today, at the beginning of a new season, I felt really discouraged. I haven’t slept well because of accidentally taking my husband’s metabolism supplements instead of my digestive enzymes.
Professionally, I have faced disappointments in recent weeks. I wrote two proposals that were quite lengthy and time consuming and the jobs haven’t materialized.
My mind tells me that Satan is twisting these disappointing circumstances to attack my value. The voices say, “How could you be so stupid to take the wrong supplements and cause yourself to lose so much sleep?“
“You are a failure because you didn’t do all you could to grow your business!”
I do know that I need help from the body of Christ to combat these voices at times, and I reached out to some friends to pray with. I’m so grateful for friends!
Today, I am looking out my window at a tall tree. One that I can’t even see the top of. I look up and see the light green leaves just in front of me, and the darker green leaves of the tree a little further away. I just moved a little closer to my window, from my chair to my desk. From this vantage point, I see that the leaves are moving in the wind. From further back, they looked still.
To me, the wind represents the Holy Spirt, who is constantly moving to speak the Father’s words to us, blowing His truth in and though us. Just like my vision changed, sometimes I can hear more from God when I move closer to Him—or when I ask again.
As I continue to look up at the trees, I’m taken back to our paths on the way to see the Window Cliffs a, where we were advised to look up to see the beauty.
We had hiked through water crossings, several gorgeous wildflower fields, and through thick forests covered in trees—both the trees and wild flowers seem to be standing tall as you are far away from them. But as you take a closer look at the wildflowers and even the trees, you see that sometimes they lay flat first and then turn to rise upwards. So, even when the flowers and trees are knocked down, they have to look up to grow—And they do!
As we gazed at the beauty of the cliffs from afar, we got the additional motivation we needed to keep moving upward to scale the cliffs. We had another 100 feet of ascent to get to the top.
We climbed to the top, and honestly, the view from the top wasn’t as great. We couldn’t see what we were gazing at previously. It was hard to look down from that high without feeling lightheaded and dizzy. All we could see was the top of rock underneath our feet, and some trees in front of the rope that marked where we would not want to step beyond, or we could fall hundreds of feet downward.
We did have a sense of accomplishment for making it to the top, and we were glad we did it. We would have always wondered what it was like had we not gone to the top. We had finished, and now we knew we didn’t miss out.
We also knew we wanted to see more of what we had only looked at briefly beneath—a gorgeous waterfall. We scampered down, satisfied with our hiking scaling experience, looking forward to taking a longer look at the beauty lower down. Seeing the waterfall was a refreshing way to end our day.
Sometimes you have to look up to see the beauty.
Sometimes you have to look up before you can revisit the low places.
Sometimes you have to look up when all you want to do is hang your head in discouragement—or maybe not even lift your head from the pillow. That low place is where I was this morning.
But remembering God’s goodness on a recent adventure and looking “up” Bible verses about looking up lifted me up.
I look up to the mountains and hills, longing for God’s help.
But then I realize that our true help and protection
come only from the Lord,
our Creator who made the heavens and the earth.
(Psalm 121:1, TPT)