Guest Post. The Great Sand Dunes and the Climb of Life.

Today I have a guest joining the blog! E. G. Runyan is a young writer with an amazing eye for classics! Her writing is phenomenal and I’m thrilled that she could drop in! Definitely check out her art and faith blog.

I hope you enjoy this article as much as I have. Runyan gives us a stunning reminder that God’s plans are not our plans and that His ways are not our ways. So, with no further ado… the post. Enjoy.

As my family and I trudged up the path toward the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in San Luis, Colorado, I wasn’t looking forward to the climb ahead of me. I surveyed the dunes as we stepped off the path. The Great Sand Dunes are the highest sand dunes on the continent of North America, the tallest of them being seven-hundred and fifty feet high. As my Mom waited with the little siblings at the feet of the dunes, my Dad took us older kids up the dunes to hike. The sand was thick, wet, and steep. My feet slowly sank into it as I walked, and soon my tennis shoes and socks were covered in sand.

Finally, we reached the top of the dune we’d been trying to summit. I collapsed on the sand and opened my water bottle, turning to look at the view.

It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.

A sea of sand stretched out below me, and all around me were the Rocky Mountains. The pine trees were swaying in the breeze with the oncoming of the afternoon mountain storms, and clouds gathered wispily at the mountain summits. It was absolutely breathtaking.

The climb of life isn’t easy. It tests your faith, confuses and hurts you, and sometimes you wonder if you can even take another step. But God holds something wonderful in store for us when we reach the summit: the view.

I had been sweaty and tired that day, not to mention getting over a bad cold. I had wished that I was back at our AirBNB, sitting down and relaxing. When I first started climbing, I was grudging it and didn’t see much of a point to the strenuous activity. That was because I was still close to the ground. I had not yet had a chance to see what the climb was worth or what it meant. Instead it seemed like a pointless exercise.

I hadn’t wanted to be on that hike, but that was before I had seen the view I had climbed long and hard to see. 

Life is hard. Suffering comes, and often it seems as though there is no point to it, just like how I felt there was no point to the climb. It’s easy to become angry, annoyed, or frustrated with God because you simply don’t know why he’s putting you through this. 

But that’s because you’re still too close to the ground. You haven’t yet climbed high enough to see how he’s using it for good.

God’s Word says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” -Romans 8:28.

Even if it takes months for you to understand, or years, or decades, or your entire life, or even if you never fully understand how there could be any good to the pain you’ve gone through, we can rest in the fact that God says that he is using it for good.

I look back now at many of the most painful times of my life and I see how God used it to make something beautiful. Still, even now I can’t see the whole view of how he’s working. That’s something I look forward to about Heaven—maybe God will show us all the ways he worked in our lives. 

I don’t know why God decided to put a huge pile of sand in the middle of the mountains. Maybe I will someday. As I finally stood there looking out at the Rockies, my legs suddenly didn’t feel quite as sore. This was worth it, I thought. Totally worth it. 

Today I want to tell you that the hard things in your life will one day be worth it. 

Totally worth it. 

Maybe you can catch a glimpse of the view right now. Maybe you’re not quite high enough to see. Keep following Christ, and one day you will be able to see the beautiful view he’s creating for you: the view of the ways he has worked in your life.