I had never heard the word combination “ridiculously beautiful” before but it worked. The other week my wife Patty and I were hiking and reached our destination of a mountain lake with legs aching and hearts pounding. As we contemplated our turn around a family bounded down an unmarked trail. When we asked what was ahead and if it was worth continuing on the father in the family exclaimed with a huge grin that there were a number of hidden lakes, it is “ridiculously beautiful!” He encouraged us to go on, and promised that just beyond the snow and a slight climb the path gets easier and we wouldn’t be disappointed.
Inspired by his words we ventured ahead to encounter one of the most breathtaking hikes ever experienced. My words won’t do it justice so you will just have to come with sometime and then you will understand “ridiculously beautiful!”
As I contemplated the phrase that inspired Patty and I to further our hike I reflected on the powerful use of words to encourage others in their life journey. My thoughts went back to Lesotho Africa and the time at the Good Shepherd Center. Diane, one of our leaders, shared her own life journey with the team and the teen moms in particular. She too was a young single mom facing some impossible mountains trying to raise her daughter on her own. Yet God’s powerful love moved the mountains before her and made a way when it seemed there was none.
Diane’s story broke down walls and the moms opened their hearts to her and she became known as “mom” to the girls at Good Shepherd. Diane ministered to many that week but one teen mom in particular. This young girl shared with Diane her battle of depression and hopelessness and on the very last day wrote a heartfelt letter and thanking Diane specifically for the loving impact of her words.
As I returned to the Good Shepherd Center two weeks later I met and prayed with this young lady and I heard how Diane’s words forever changed the course of her life. Before Diane and our team arrived in Lesotho this teen mom had thought about giving up her baby, even selling the beautiful child because she was so overwhelmed trying to raise this child with such limited resources in a country overtaken by poverty. Yet because of a testimony from another single mom that included many talks, hugs and tears, hope entered the situation. This hope enabled her to keep her child and journey ahead knowing God’s love would not leave her or her child. What a beautiful picture! A teen mom embracing her baby with an infectious smile birthed by hope, yes she could continue on the path ahead, it was “ridiculously beautiful!”
May our Good Father use you today to encourage someone to keep hiking up the mountain into his faithfulness and find Him “ridiculously beautiful!”
And let us consider how we may encourage one another on toward love and good deeds… Hebrew 10:24