May 6, 2019
In this morning’s Fruit of the Vine, Mark Almquist-Murray tells about the summer that he and his partner, Mackenzie, “hiked at one of Michigan’s natural marvels, the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.” It is an area “sprawling with sand dunes that cascade directly into the clear blue waters of Lake Michigan. It is otherworldly.” Mark remembers that he and Mackenzie made it to the top of the first dune only to see “a horizon of continuous dunes – not the lake waters we had expected on the other side.”
But they didn’t give up. Over several hours, Mark and Mackenzie climbed nearly a dozen dunes, finally glimpsing “the sunlit waters of Lake Michigan.”
Have you experienced anything like this? Can you think of a time when you encountered one metaphorical dune after another after another after another, never knowing for certain that you would ever reach the thing for which you hoped? Maybe you were tired. Maybe you are tired.
Mark writes that this experience is a helpful illustration for the reality of our experience. “Faith and life suffer setback after setback, and God’s holiness often feels elusive.” Take a moment and consider “Abraham and Sarah, Jacob, Joseph, Rahab, David, Esther, Jesus' mother Mary, and the apostle Paul.” We know from Scripture that their lives “involved ongoing struggle.”
Thankfully, this reality reminds us that “faith is not one moment of overcoming, but an ongoing journey.” And just as the faithful people listed above “were met by God along the way, so too does God . . . meet us.”
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