Hebrews 7:25 – He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. 


Back in the summer of 2017, I set out on one of the most formative adventures I’ve ever experienced: backpacking The Wonderland Trail. For those who don’t know, The Wonderland is a 93-mile-long loop all the way around Mt Rainier. Beyond the fact that one has to hike nearly 100 miles in one stretch, any hiker brave enough to face this journey also has to climb a total of 22,000 ft of elevation gain over the entirety of their quest. (That’s more elevation gain than actually climbing the mountain itself…even if you started from sea level!)  

The trip itself was absolutely unbelievable! Every day we walked through some of the most amazing landscapes with breathtaking views of Rainier painting the backdrop. As the days progressed on our trip, I started to think about how much more significant and spectacular the mountain was now that I had seen it up close. I had seen Rainier many times while driving around the state, and even visited the park several times to bask in the mountain’s splendor. However, being this close every day gave me a new appreciation for just how incredible (and BIG) the mountain truly is.  

The reason my hike around the mountain holds such significance for me was that this trip was the precipice of what would become a 5-year personal journey for me in training & planning to reach the summit of Mt Rainier. Mountaineering and a plethora of other outdoor activities became, and remains, one of my largest obsessions and sources of joy. However, this trip around the mountain also gave me a new perspective on how we as Christians see our relationship with God.  

If you live in the state of Washington, it’s extremely likely you’ve had some encounter with Mt Rainier—you’ve come into Seattle on the ferry and seen it as the backdrop for the city, you’ve driving over highway 12 and caught glimpses of it standing proudly between rolling hills of trees, or maybe you’ve loaded up the family and made the journey out to Paradise Lodge at the foot of the mountain to bask in the splendor of the peak up close. In the same manner, we’ve all encountered God in some way. Some of us merely drive by him from time to time, on Christmas and Easter, and enjoy that interaction, but are more focused on other things to divert our journey any closer to Him. Perhaps we spend our Sundays close to Him, but return back to our own lives and our own agendas once we leave.  

I can tell you from personal experience that the more time you spend as close as you can get to Mt Rainier, the greater your appreciation and awe for the mountain grows. When I stood atop the 14,411 ft peak in the summer of last year, I was taken back by the unmatched beauty of the summit and the enormous pride I felt from reaching the top. The same is true for how we relate to God: the closer we draw into Him, the greater the awe we will have for Him.  

Drawing closer to the Lord, similar to the mountain, takes sacrifice. We often must surrender our own comforts and agendas, maybe we even need to change the direction we’re going, but what we receive in return is a far more intimate relationship with a loving God that will leave us standing in awe.