Thank you for your prayers for Patricia and for me during our time away from Berlin the last two weeks. Our trip included a week of vacation in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to visit friends, who moved there this summer from Berlin. Our friends spoiled us completely, and we also got to see some of the sights of their lovely city, which is situated just below the front range of the Rocky Mountains.
One afternoon we drove to the top of Pike’s Peak, the highest mountain in the region (14,115 feet/4302 meters). It is apparently one of the few mountains that high that have a road all the way to the summit.
It was a beautiful day, and the view from the top was magnificent! The combination of snow and rocks (They are called the “Rockies” for a reason!) and blue sky was an experience to treasure! The way up, however, was a bit unsettling. The switchback turns winding back and forth up the face of the mountain were relatively narrow and there was no guardrail to stop the car from plunging over the edge of sheer drops of hundreds of feet. (I was glad I wasn’t driving!) More than once, I felt my stomach bottom out and my heart lodge in my throat as the engine roared toward what appeared to be only empty space! We would sometimes come out into straight and level places where we could see breathtaking views of the valley where we had started below, and there were other stretches where we could also see the top of the peak we were climbing. But there were many curves and hair-pin turns where we could see neither!
Life is a lot like this. Sometimes we can see clearly where we have come from, and we rejoice in what God has done to bring us to where we are today. Other times we are given a fairly clear vision of what lies ahead of us, and, again, we rejoice in the Lord, and we look forward to the blessings He has promised. But there are many times in our lives where we have a hard time seeing anything but the empty space of a sheer drop in front of us. Doubts and fears fill our hearts, and we have little capacity to remember what God has done or what He has promised.
This Sunday, we will finish up our year-long Luke/Acts sermon series by looking at Acts 27. There we find St. Paul not climbing a treacherous mountain but sailing a stormy sea. The metaphor is different, but I believe the lesson is the same. I invite you to join us this week to learn the apostle’s secret of hope and strength during those periods of life where fear and danger and hopelessness threaten to “shipwreck” our faith.