God’s care on the mountain
In mountaineering, a fourteener is a mountain peak with an elevation of at least 14,000 feet. My dad and I wanted to hike a fourteener in Colorado, and I was really looking forward to it.
Unfortunately, we hadn’t completely acclimated to the elevation, and as we got close to the top of the mountain, I was exhausted and didn’t feel well. It was challenging to keep going.
My dad was super supportive, and he kept encouraging me to take just one more step. I really wanted to make it all the way, but I knew I couldn’t do it through my own strength. So to help shift my perspective, I started thinking about a hymn from the Christian Science Hymnal. It begins:
I walk with Love along the way,
And O, it is a holy day;
No more I suffer cruel fear,
I feel God’s presence with me here;
The joy that none can take away
Is mine; I walk with Love today.
(Minny M. H. Ayers, No. 139, adapt. © CSBD)
The idea of walking “with Love along the way” really spoke to me. I was thinking about God, Love—how Love protects me and how safe I am in Love’s care. I knew that wherever I was, including hiking up that mountain, Love was with me and supporting me.
I also thought about an idea I love from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings” (p. vii). I knew that as I leaned on God, I would be blessed.
It was challenging to keep going.
The other problem was that we were running low on supplies, like snacks and water to keep us going. But I wasn’t afraid. I kept trusting God, knowing He would provide for us. And He did!
There were so many good Samaritans climbing the mountain with us. When we passed other hikers, my dad would ask whether anyone had any water or food to spare. And even with limited resources, many still found supplies to share with us. They gave us granola bars, water—lots of different things to help us on the rest of our journey.
There was even this one hiker coming back down the mountain who asked me, “Are you the curly-haired girl the people back there were talking about?” (We’d passed one group of hikers who were so low on supplies that they couldn’t share anything with us.) Then he added, “Because they found this granola bar, and they told me to give it to you.”
That meant a lot to me because it reminded me of another line from Hymn 139: “Give of your heart’s rich overflow.” Those hikers had definitely done that for me!
I felt really grateful for every single good thing that had happened—the whole hike had been a great example of God caring for and protecting me.
It was such an amazing experience, and with every single thing people offered us, I could feel God’s love and protection. I knew all this good came from God because God is all good. And because God created everybody and everything, any good that we express must have its source in God.
We successfully peaked the mountain and made it all the way back down to the bottom, where my uncle and brother were waiting for us. I went home and slept a long time, and when I woke up the next day, I wasn’t sore at all. I just felt really grateful for every single good thing that had happened—the whole hike had been a great example of God caring for and protecting me. And even though the climb had been hard, I couldn’t think of the experience as a bad day; I could only think of it as a great way to discover more about God’s love for me.
I’ve already told my dad I want to climb another fourteener, especially now that I understand how to prepare a little better. And next time I climb, I want to make sure I’m also a good Samaritan—helping others on their journey and showing them God’s love, just like all those other hikers did for my dad and me.