Wednesday, February 6, 2013

God's Help is Like the Mountain Switchbacks

We live about 60 miles from Red Lodge, MT, which sits at the base of the beautiful Beartooth Mountains. It is a true western town with a mix of all types of outdoor activities: skiing, camping, rodeos, hiking, fishing, and lots more. It is billed as "The Gateway to Yellowstone Park via the Beartooth Highway." Indeed, it is a beautiful drive through this part of Montana up to the summit  into Wyoming and over to the northeast entrance of Yellowstone Park.
The photo above shows the setting of Red Lodge, with a rodeo parade taking place.
There are lots of fun shops, eateries, and Bed and Breakfast Inns I love to visit.
But the real pull to Red Lodge are the Beartooths, and it is well worth the 
drive up the switchbacks of the Beartooth Highway.
These as just a few of the pictures I found on the Beartooth Highway website.

The highway is closed in the winter months for obvious reasons,
and this photo shows it in the spring after the roads are plowed...
I have never driven the switchbacks myself,
 but I do enjoy being a passenger and taking in the view.
Many people travel this highway every year, by car, RV, motorcycle, bicycle, or,
 in the case of the annual Peaks to Prairie Adventure Race, 
participants run from the pass at the summit to Red Lodge (about 9 miles),
and then bike another leg and then boat to Billings.
At least the running is downhill!
But when we are at the base of the mountain, the Beartooths seem to be overwhelmingly difficult to drive over without the help of switchbacks. The road climbs slowly and it turns one direction to the opposite direction, making the climb easier to do. This "switchbacking" makes the climb not only easier, but the views are fantastic, with each turn a new, awe-inspiring view of the mountains.
If I were to walk the Beartooth Highway, it would be an arduous task, and I am sure I would want to give up before reaching the peak.
Life seems like that sometimes.
The "mountains" we climb may not be the Beartooths,
but they may be overwhelming at times.
These mountains may be as mundane as
a week's laundry to do,
a test to study for,
or the pile of paperwork on a desk.
Or, these mountains may be so big
that we cannot see the peak because of the clouds,
the summit where we may claim victory seems out of reach
due to difficulties and hardships such as;
the death of a loved one,
and overwhelming financial problems,
just to name a few.
But God, in His infinite wisdom, knows we cannot climb these mountains
without His help. He will lead us up these mountains as the switchbacks
lead travelers up the Beartooth Highway.
He will provide the way through His word.
When I worked at one of the elementary schools in our former town,
I would be sure to drive a couple of blocks out of the way so that I could
see the distant mountains. This view would refresh me and remind me of this scripture:

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
    He who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, He who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    He will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

Psalm 121:1-8 


Regine Karpel said...

Beautiful Bible verse and photos!

Laurie said...

Thank you, Regine! I'm looking forward to driving up there this spring!