A few summers ago the kids and I hiked Mohawk Lakes in the Rockies, these were glacier lakes above timberline and supposed to be beautiful! After pushing our red mini van up a four-wheel drive trail we grabbed our backpacks and continued our adventure. At a fork in the trail the four of us stood there for a few moments trying to determine which route to take. With the expertise of one of my kids, I won’t tell you which one to protect his identity, we headed right, however after a few miles without a glimpse of a lake or anyone else, we had this ominous feeling we were lost. Finally a hiker from the opposite direction appeared. When we inquired about how far to the lake he had a puzzled look on his face. Obviously we should have gone left, ugh a wrong turn, my legs shouted “ouch!”
As we climb Mount Trust the writer of Proverbs reminds us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…” (Prov. 3:5). The Hebrew word for lean means support or trust. It could be translated “don’t trust yourself to get you up this mountain.” This is a good reminder that the journey up Mount Trust is unpredictable and even mysterious at times. Just when you are certain you figured this hike out, even think you can do it on your own, you approach a fork in the road, encounter a painful ascent, or realize you are lost. It is sobering to lose the right trail and need to retrace your steps back down the mountain to try again.
The words “lean not …” remind me of the refrain from an old familiar hymn:
Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms;
leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms…
The song brought me back to the truth that the only way up Mount Trust is to be embraced by the everlasting arms of the Father. This is how Jesus climbed; He did so with the Father’s love surrounding Him and daily walking in His steps (John 5:19).
And notice how the last verse ends:
What have I to dread, what have I to fear, leaning on the
everlasting arms? I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
leaning on the everlasting arms…
On this daily climb I’m learning that my own understanding will never lead me to what the Father has for me on the Mount. Moment by moment I need to be leaning on the everlasting arms of my Father by relying on Jesus and His Spirit to show me how to follow in His footsteps. Daily I need to refer to the Trail Map, The Word, which shows me how to lean. And I know I am truly leaning on Him instead of my own understanding when I engulfed by the blessed peace He brings. Ah yes, this is an indication that He is with me on the climb.
Please join me in this New Year as we Learn to Lean on His Everlasting Arms!