We had driven all the way to Arizona from Texas. We had hiked in the Chiricahua National Monument and climbed at the Dragoon Mountains. Finally we arrived at the Grand Canyon. We herded 25 students to the visitor center, hurried to a shuttle, and then arrived at the head of the trail. After traveling all this way we were disappointed to see the canyon covered by fog and clouds, but still we started walking. Snow swirled around us like we were in a snow globe; we walked in awe. We stopped for lunch and the snow turned into rain. We were worried about the kids’ getting soaked without the proper gear, but we had said the theme of the week was “Do Hard Things: teenage rebellion against low expectations”, so we kept going. As we started down the switchbacks we had to brace ourselves against the wind. The rain turned to hail but we kept hiking through what felt like pins and needles pricking us. Then finally we reached Skeleton Point. The clouds had cleared up and we could see the canyon with its multiple layers of rock and the Colorado River winding through it. As we started back up the canyon the sun came out and a rainbow stretched across the sky.
That view made enduring all the storms worth it. What a sweet reminder of God’s promises. These students had their own storms to endure; coming to a foreign country from China, learning a new language, not feeling like they fit in, conflict in their host families, and dealing with addictions. On the trip we had other storms, like a robbery of gear that totaled $3,000. So how do we endure these storms? We look to God’s promises. He fulfilled His promise of sending a Savior and will fulfill His promise of returning.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed.” – Romans 8:18
This is what we celebrate over Easter! Jesus’ suffering was not the end! HE HAS RISEN! HE HAS VICTORY OVER SIN AND DEATH!
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