Hiking, hillsides, and dads


“…There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son…” – Deuteronomy 1:31

Saturday was such a beautiful day, it seemed a shame to spend any more of it inside than we had to. So by afternoon when we had some free time, we decided to go to the park and enjoy nature. Our idea of enjoying nature and Noah’s is usually a little different. Mine is a walk, or sitting under a tree, reading. Noah’s is soccer, Frisbee, badminton – things that make me tired. So this time Shawn and I decided it was only fair to do both. We did the hike first (genius, btw. After a 4-mile hike, he wasn’t as ambitious with the Frisbee).

The trail we picked was the River Trail at Barboursville Park. Noah used to think it was a little scary, so it is not his favorite. I like that it has very few inclines #gettingbywithaslittleaspossible #lazy. It also has some beautiful spots, like this one. (Right before this picture, I pointed out to Noah how beautiful it was, “I hate this trail,” how that stream of water could be on a postcard or calendar, “the other trails are better…”)

The trails Noah prefers are the ones on the side of the mountains, up and down all over. Once we were geocaching on a muddy trail (never found the cache, btw, so if anyone wants to cheat and tell us where it is, that would be great 😉 . We had climbed up this steep, muddy hillside to check out an area. The trick was getting back down. We couldn’t do it. Noah was scared, and I won’t lie, I was scared too. Naturally Shawn went back down with no trouble, but Noah and I were apprehensive, to put it mildly. Shawn planted his feet firmly in the ground and reached for Noah, placing him safely back on the trail, easy peasy.

In the Bible, Moses reminded the Israelites of the times God also did the same for them. The Israelites had wandered around in the desert for a super long time after leaving Egypt. In Deuteronomy 1:31 he said, “…There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son…” He was recounting all the times God had been there for them. He didn’t want them to forget how they were once slaves in Egypt, but in ways only God could do, he set them free.

Each time God helps us through something, or carries us, our faith in Him should be a little bit stronger. When we see how much He cares, how He rescues in ways that we know can only be from Him, we become more certain that the next time we face something, we can count on Him.

There are so many times God has done this for me. When depression overwhelmed me to the point I didn’t want to keep living, God carried me. When we suffered two miscarriages, God carried us. When my marriage was at it’s roughest point, I was sure it was over. But God carried us.

If you are in the middle of your own desert, questioning if you will make it out, carve out a few minutes right now. Make a list – mental or on paper, whichever works best for you. Remind yourself of the times God has been there for you. The times He has carried you, as a father carries his son. Pick a couple that come to mind and keep going until you feel your faith in God renewed.

I’d love for you to share with me a time or two that God has carried you…

“But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.'” – Psalm 31:14


About Jen Chapman

She is a wife to Shawn for 22 years and counting, and a mom to Noah, and together they live out their story in their tiny town of Barboursville, WV. She is a freelance writer and a blogger at girlmeetsgrace.com. Flowers, bookstores, and people are what make her smile. She has seen God’s grace redeem her big-time and wants everyone to know it and experience it for themselves. She wants more than anything to give praise and honor to Jesus, and point people to Him.

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