The plan was simple (wonderful even): hop on a trail we haven’t been on yet; walk a minute or two to a shady spot; eat some lunch; do some sketching of what we see.

We had our sunscreen on. The cute lunch tote was full of goodies. I had the special sketching pencils and a blanket. I was ready and feeling pretty awesome.

colored pencils

A couple minutes after we hit our stride (and by stride I mean Landon running up ahead with a stick, Evan stopping every three seconds to pick up—and talk about—the rocks, and me repeatedly telling a lagging Selah that under no condition would I carry Her Royal Whiney-ness), a few disturbing things occurred to me:

It’s hotter out here than I thought it would be.

I don’t see shade anywhere.

Evan and Selah are wearing flip-flops.

There was this moment, you know, when I really thought everything was going to fall apart. I could only see knee-high desert bushes in every direction; the sun was fierce; and, I wondered how far I could actually allow Evan and Selah to walk in those sandals while I tried to find shade. (oh by the way, I was practically barefoot, too.)

True to form, though, I kept us going. I refused to believe there was no shade nearby. It seemed impossible to me. Come on…God gave Jonah a ‘lil plant thingy to sit under. Surely he has a tree waiting just over there for us. I’m like 60% sure of it. 

Two minutes later, I was 100% sure of it.

calico basin

Under a scraggily mess of branches and leaves, we enjoyed our time eating and sketching…just how I hoped that we would. 

red rock canyon

On the way back to the car, I got to thinking about the choice we have the moment we think it’s all going to fall apart; that instant we regret heading out on the new trail because clearly we didn’t think this through. When we are hot, wearing the wrong shoes, and scanning the horizon for shade and seeing none, we can either panic and retreat or remember what God has promised us and advance.

Steven Furtick says it this way:

“When what you see around you doesn’t match up with what God has spoken inside you, you’ve got to hold on to what you’ve heard.”

That isn’t easy to do. It wasn’t easy for the men and women God used throughout the Bible—and it certainly isn’t easy for us today—but we cannot waiver in our faith simply because our visibility is limited.

We need to be as sure of the shade up ahead as we are of the sun overhead. Then, when we get to the place God has promised us, we should bust out the special colored pencils and sketch what He has brought us there to see.

calico basin hike