I absolutely love when God uses nature and life moments to teach me lessons about him! Anyone else have those moments? I just got back from an 11 day excursion to California (my first time there) with 3 of my best friends and we had a ball! We flew to San Francisco were we stayed for three days before jetting off in our SUV down the California 1. We made stops in Monterey, San Luis Obispo/Arroyo Grande, Santa Barbara, and Riverside before finally ending our trip with a 3 day stay in LA (Venice, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Hollywood).
I tell you what, you learn a lot about yourself when you are traveling with three other women and you are together 24/7 as you can imagine! But that’s for another time. I wanted to share for a second a really cool moment/lesson that God showed me when we were in San Francisco. It was our first night there and we stayed in this really cute traditional San Fran house in a quaint little neighborhood. We were only about a 10 minute walk from one of the parks there called Land’s End Trail which overlooked the Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge.
After we settled in and grabbed some dinner we went for an adventure hike to see this special spot. We arrived about an hour before sunset and the entrance lead to an overlook spot that was so memorizing…or so we thought. While standing there doing what girls do and taking a bunch a pictures of ourselves with this amazing view so as to freeze time, a gentleman in his 30’s who had been sitting on a nearby bench offered to take a picture of the three of us.
We obliged. He had just finished running the trail and began chatting with us and sharing about his time living in San Fran, giving us the ins and outs of where to go. As the sun began to lower we started heading back into the trail to explore what might be there. Heading back to his car our new friend Matt went along with us and we continued our conversation.
We got to another clearing with yet another beautiful view of the Bay and the bridge. This was just so incredible I thought. I couldn’t believe we had made it there after months of planning and I was taking in this historic site that I had only seen in pictures and on Full House! And now I had this incredible view and experience. I was thanking God. Matt asked us if we were going to keep going, or head back. We didn’t really know what else was back on the trail and we didn’t want to lose the sunlight for our walk back to our house, especially since the trail was pretty rocky and narrow. Besides, we had already seen the incredible view we came for right?
Well we decided we go a little further… after all we wanted a roadtrip filled with adventure. So we headed back into the trail a little further. We got to a part of the trail that was roped off with a warning sign to hike the upward path. Matt looked at us and said he was glad we decided to come a little further because there was something he wanted to show us. So of course, we slipped past the warning sign and up this dusty, rocky, narrow, twisty path to the top. We went a little further and got to the top.
Now if you haven’t noticed a pattern by now you should. A little further. The view that we got at the top of that rocky, narrow path with a warning sign was something so magical and breathtaking that it put our first view to shame! We stood up there and watched the sun set with this absolutely incredible view that no words could describe and pictures could not fully capture, though we tried 🙂 As we watched the sun begin to set over the water, I stood there watching one of my most favorite sights…god’s painting…and thanking him for that moment. And to think, had we not gone a little further we would have never seen this majestic display.
On our way back it hit me. This was my relationship with God! So often I get to moments where I think…ok, this is what I wanted. Or, this is incredible. I am satisfied with this. But God says “a little further” and I’ll give you something even better; something you never could have imagined. Why settle for some thing I imagined of when God has something waiting for me that is better and is unimaginable for me? But to get there, the path will not be easy. The trail we had followed even to get the sign was narrow and rocky and uneven. There parts of the path that had no guardrails and if we fell we were going down the hill.
Following God is not easy, it’s quite the opposite sometimes. In fact in Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus says,
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
It gets difficult to imagine that God has anything good sometimes when all we are focused on is the hard and rocky journey we are on. But while Jesus’ words did come with a warning sign that the way is hard, his words also gave a promise of good…life!! We get these small blessings that we settle for because we are afraid or we are comfortable with how far we have come. But God says to go a little further and I will give you something truly incredible…life. Everything about reaching the end of that journey was worth it…the view, the aroma of the air, the sound of the waves crashing below, the fallen log we sat on as we took in the moment. 100% of complete satisfaction.
I just had to share this incredible moment. I hoping this blog will start to take shape as a place that I can be transparent about myself, about life, about what God’s showing me, but that it will also be a place I can also share stories and light-hearted moments. I desire this blog to be a way of ministry that God uses for his purposes but that it is also an outlet where I can also just be me!
I hope this story and pictures blesses you as it did me!
XOXO – Mia