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Wonderland Trail

As I gazed at the mountain for the first time, I understood why I’d heard about it so much. Snowfields glistened on the steep slope, with massive glaciers above and delicate meadows below. The base of the mountain stretched out wide and strong, while its top extended far above neighboring peaks. No wonder people call Mt. Rainier the Crown Jewel of the Pacific Northwest!

When I learned about the 93-mile Wonderland Trail that encircled the mountain, I decided I would return and backpack the loop. All winter, I studied the guidebooks to find the best itinerary, and I sent in my permit application right on time. Anticipation grew as I imagined myself setting foot on the famed trail. Soon a rigorous exercise program replaced other activities that I once cherished. No sacrifice seemed too great as I built my schedule around this adventure.

Then one day I checked my favorite trail blog for updates, and disappointment welled up inside. The park had received a record number of wilderness reservation requests and would not be able to grant any more permits to hike the Wonderland Trail that year. In disbelief, I read the words again. It looked as though all my plans and dreams had come to naught!

On Earth, unforeseen situations often destroy carefully developed plans. But there is one adventure I can always count on. My Jesus longs to spend the whole day with me each Sabbath—and that’s something to be excited about! I plan to build my life around something more lasting than a backpacking trip.

YAB Connection

YAB members, why should anyone want to be humble and meek?

Robby S: The Christian wants to be humble because he loves Jesus and wants to be like Him. Jesus humbled Himself to be like us, and continued on that path even to death on the cross. Can we persist in pride when God Himself is humble?

Lilienne S: God can use those who are humble and meek to do great things for His Kingdom. It is harder for God to use those who are prideful and self-exalted because they don’t let Him have every bit of their hearts.

Brandon P: Jesus is humble and meek—so if I want to be like Him I must follow His example.

Olivia A: It may not seem nice to be humble, but when I see Christ’s life I want to be exactly like Him. When Christ, the King of everything, is so humble, who am I not to be meek and humble too?

Josué V: Jesus showed us through His own example that meekness is the best form of greatness.

Lucinda E: Humility and meekness are character qualities that Jesus wants us to have. Examples are scattered all throughout the Bible.

Manish R: Being humble and meek is a great way to bring souls to Christ.

Jasmine P: I want to be humble and meek so that others can see Christ’s character lived out in the life of one of His followers.

Do you have a question for the YAB to answer? If so, leave a comment below!

Lover of Storms

I love storms. Something about a torrential rain and the rumble of thunder thrills my heart. However, I don't often see such storms where I live in eastern Washington.

Several months ago, however, a great storm swept over my house. The pounding of the rain against the windows soon caught my attention, and I went outside and stood on the front step. The clouds hung low and dull in the twilight, while lightening flashed across the sky and thunder seemed to crack the evening wide open.

Wind tore at the trees and tugged at my clothes; but I wasn't afraid. I stepped out a little farther, lifted my hands and face up to the sky, and let the rain soak me. When at last I went inside and closed the door against the tempestuous elements, I felt I'd left something precious outside.

I'm not so enthusiastic about some of the other storms I encounter. When I find myself in the midst of a spiritual or an emotional storm, I often have a hard time raising my hands to Heaven with a quiet and joyful heart.

But that's exactly the attitude Jesus wants to give me! Though all around me and inside me may seem to be in complete chaos, He designs to give me perfect peace—such a meekness of heart that I simply cast myself in His arms and say, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him" (Job 13:15).

I want that kind of peace continually. Don't you? 

Monument of His Power

The wilderness valley's vibrant slopes framed distant granite peaks with striking greenery—a tantalizing taste of days ahead. From our sheltered campsite, we eagerly anticipated tomorrow's views deeper into the Cascade Mountains. Most of all, we looked forward to seeing Glacier Peak, the most secluded of Washington's five massive volcanic mountains.

But the next morning, fog and drizzle blocked out all the views. The weather didn't improved much over the next couple of days. In the afternoons, the sky would clear a little, and we enjoyed glimpses of mountains nearby—but still no sight of Glacier Peak.

Our final morning, the clouds began to lift. Still, I didn't believe we'd see the mountain. Maybe it existed, but it seemed evident that it seldom emerged from the fog. What good was a mountain continually shrouded from the longing hiker's view. I convinced myself I didn't care about the old volcano.

As we hiked to a viewpoint for Glacier Peak, I looked up, fully expecting a bank of clouds. Was I ever surprised! Glacier Peak towered high above all the other mountains—a glorious monument of God's power. That one glimpse made the whole hike worthwhile!

When tough times hit us, it can seem as though life is nothing but gloom. If we don't watch out, we can get to thinking that no one cares and that nothing good ever happens to us. Yet all the time, Jesus is there—waiting for the perfect moment to lift the clouds and let us see His glorious purpose.

Trust Him—it will be worth it!