A few weeks ago, my husband and I went on a road trip through South Dakota. I really wanted to see Mt. Rushmore. As I researched the area before we went, I identified a few other places I thought we should see.
As we entered the Badlands National Park, we drove along slowly, following the looping road on the map they gave us. Herds of bighorn sheep were feeding on the grasses next to the road. It was fun to see them so close-up, I got some great photos.
As we moved deeper into the park, it was evident why the area has such a dreary name.
I could just imagine the explorers seeing this place for the first time and saying, “Yep. This is some bad land alright.” Everywhere I looked, all I saw were craters and bare rock.
We kept on driving, accompanied by the moonscape spreading out beside us. I happened to look at one particularly vertical cliff and saw an amazing sight. In the middle of this barren and stony land, there was a bighorn sheep standing completely upright on the side of a sheer drop. I wish I got a photo of it, but by the time I realized what I saw, we were past it. Incredible! All around there was just…nothing. Yet there he stood, all casual-like, just checking out the scene.
Devil’s Tower is in Wyoming, but it wasn’t a long drive. It took about 90 minutes to get there. As we neared the formation, we could see it looming up in the distance.
The land around it was flat for miles so it stuck out like a sore thumb. Sheer rock, almost completely vertical, it rose up to the heavens. Such an impressive sight.
We hiked the trail around the base of the tower. It was a twisty, winding and rocky path. My husband brought along binoculars, so he stopped to take a closer look at the drape-like folds in the rock. After a few minutes he dropped the lenses to his chest and said, “I can’t believe it.”
Can you see them? There were two men repelling slowly down the side of the rock face. It looked like it couldn’t be done, but these were two very determined climbers.
These two experiences really made me think. In the middle of barren, vertical land, there was life. Even in what seemed to be the harshest environment, God’s creatures not only overcame, they thrived. Whether animal or human, it was clear that they all were created and prepared to face the harsh environment. In the middle of what looked like nothing.
I think God was showing me that he has fully prepared me too. Sometimes I’m in a bad land. Support is hard to find, and my hope is fading. But even in the face of rocky times he still whispers, “Do not be afraid.”
“I have created you to not only overcome, but to thrive.”
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Linking today with: Chronicles of Grace