- Dick Ward
A Helpless Hiker Arrives
Updated: May 19, 2022
A Helpless Hiker Arrives
There is a special helplessness about a newborn. This struck me recently, looking through a hospital nursery window at my granddaughter, less than an hour after she was born. No one was near her. She seemed so alone, and helpless.
In seemingly striking contrast, hikers consistently tote 35 pounds 18 miles a day, and somehow don’t consider it torture. Well, most of them don’t.
Yet, no matter how strong one is on the trail, each individual begins their trek each Spring as a hopeful, yet helpless hiker. They are helpless to the elements they will experience, the physical pain and limitations they are yet to know, and their dream at the start is merely that. They may call themselves “thru hikers” in Georgia, but in reality, that title only TRULY applies at the summit of Katahdin. Every thru hiker hopeful has no ability to do for themselves what alone can be done only with time and effort.
When it comes to a thru hike of the Appalachian Trail, your effort and commitment DOES count. When it comes to life however, whether you are a newborn, or Senior Citizen, you remain completely dependent upon the God who gives it.
“For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them”. Psalm 139:13-16
Like physical birth, nobody begins their spiritual life by their own strength, effort, or accomplishment. Its is God who causes spiritual life to begin, moving people to faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s where the real “thru hike” of life begins, at that moment of acknowledgment that we are helpless and hopeless, without Him.
"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:6
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again” 1 Peter 1:3
Even when sinners, like me, are going their own way with no interest in following Christ; through difficult circumstances, or the words of a friend, coworker, or total stranger, God prepares our hearts for new life, creating faith in a heart where there was none previously.
Thank God for new life, whether it be that first precious grandchild, or eternal life in His Son. And thank Him for not leaving us helpless, or without hope on this most important “Trail” of all. Are you ready to begin?