God in the Daily · Growing in Grace · Uncategorized · Walking With God in the Valley

God in the Daily: Hiking a Beautiful Trail With Jesus!

green leaf trees on forest

Hiking is a great past time and simple. It is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the beautiful outdoors. Step by step, exploring and discovering gorgeous scenery, bountiful nature and secrets of the forest. With a little planning and preparation, anyone can hike in nature.

If you have ever desired to hike, but have not gotten out to do so, here are 4 steps to having one of the most beautiful hikes in nature.

God in the Daily: Hiking a Beautiful Trail

Hiking a Beautiful Trail With Jesus:

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1. Plan and Prepare

Before you leave for a hiking trip, you need to know how to prepare. Knowing how to prepare for your next trek in the woods will make the difference of a good hike or an unforgettable one. Will you be hiking one day or multiple days? Overnight on the trail? If possible, you want to avoid over packing. Over-packing can very quickly make your hike physically uncomfortable. So, the first step in preparation is deciding what you want on your next hiking adventure. After you have determined your hike, these next steps will help you plan and prepare.

Just as this is true with hiking on the next amazing adventure, let’s not forget it is just as true in our christian lives. As you would prepare for an overnight stay or heading to the middle of the bush, why would you want to leave your christian walk to happen stance? For the best walk with God that is adventurous and joyful, we need to be somewhat prepared. Just you would not take a hike in your snazzy heeled Sunday cowboy boots or high heels, you should not take your Christian walk advice from the world. But if we are not on-purpose preparing our days and hearts, that is what we are getting all around us. The world.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12: 1-2

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2. Find a Hiking Buddy or Group

It is safe practice to hike with others. Ladies, find a partner or group to hike with. It is not only safer, but such a blessing to share the trail and your adventures with a group of ladies! You can encourage one another, see and meet each other’s needs, have extra eyes and ears for safety and just enjoy the journey with.

“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”

Proverbs 18:24

Why should our christian lives be any different? God never meant for us to do this alone. Sure and YES we have HIM. But, HE desires you to have friends and sisters in Christ encouraging each other, supporting one another, having extra safety helps and meeting one another’s needs, and most of all- just to enjoy this journey with! It is such a blessing to be able to call a sister in the Lord up on the phone and say, HEY, want to grab a coffee? Or, I have to tell you the amazing thing God did today! or even, will you be in prayer with me? Reach out grab a journey buddy. Find a solid church that wants you to succeed and grown in Christ! Will there be differences? Sure. It’s people, we all have opinions and come from different walks. But more than ever, I see how that makes us grow even more in the LORD. By understanding peoples backgrounds better, we see needs better and differently. It increases your skill set too.

“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17

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3. Research Trail & Time Options

Decide which trails best fit your time frame, your group size, and ability. You don’t want to take a group of ladies hiking on the hardest trek in the area for their first time out. Otherwise, it may be your only hike together. Enjoy it. A beautiful destination hike is great for a groups first time out or with kids. There are a lot of trails that are filled with beautiful scenery, nature, wildlife and still reach a destination. Some of our favorite hikes took us to a great afternoon picnic spot, a waterfall, a great fishing hole, a hidden gem overlook, a beach or quiet nook to play in the rocks or collect shells. Find the trail that fits you best.

Avoiding accidents in the outdoors is the best preparation. Being rushed on a trail or caught in the dark in the middle of a hike is not an issue you want to add to your hike, prepare your hike and evaluate your time options. Take into consideration your group size, a possible slower hike back if you are going to a destination, “hanging out all day” then hiking back; your group may be moving slower after a long day.

“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” Eph. 5:16-17 & And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;” Col. 3:23

Perhaps it is a different outlook on an individual’s Christian walk, but the concept is the same. We never know how many years we have on this earth. So many times there are individuals that have said, I will serve HIM later. When I get older I will be in church and do church stuff with my family. Do you know how many of them actually went back to church? Very few. Time is limited, and if you are blessed to have it, praise God! But what are you doing with your time. We are all working at something. Is it earthly treasure? Or heavenly treasure? You are precious. Your time is precious. Make it count! I know you desire to hear your Heavenly Father say: Well done, thou good and faithful servant: but how can we expect HIM to if we are striving for the things of this world? (From Chapter 25 of Matthew)

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:” Matthew 6:19

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4. Read up on regulations, rules and conditions.

Read up on regulations and local rules- Hidden gems will be some of your favorite hikes. However, a lot of them are seasonal due to weather and local regulations. Safety is the number one concern. Keep in mind, just because there is not a regulation, does not make it safest, do your homework. A great example is along the great lakes, many of the forests are year round. However in the fall, those forests are open to hunters. To be safe, you would want to make sure your group wore bright colors and orange. Those same areas are open during the winter, but a lot of overlooks can be very slippery in the early parts of winter even if they are not covered in snow. Trails in the south are similar, many are open year round; but certain times of the year are better to go. In southern coastal Georgia, we went on vacation and took the family on a hike that was open all year. But thankfully, were warned that certain times of the day, the trail could be slippery at high tide with the extra rain that week. So, do your homework and check in before you go out. It may not be required, but if you are on vacation, they can give you extra insight. The key element in having a great hike being; keep your family or group safe!

Check trail conditions– Trail conditions change frequently. Part of being a responsible hiker is to check the trail conditions frequently. From time to time, paths get washed out from storm damage or heavy rains. Erosion along river banks and streams also can lead to unsafe hikes near falls and gorges. Be sure to check the most recent updates and check in at the local ranger stations for the most up to date information.

Yes, you know it’s like life. And, also similar to our walk with God. As we study God’s word and spend time with HIM the conditions of our life change. If we let it, it will pour out onto the people around us. (If you walk with God any length of time, it should.) We can make our lives more peaceful and less painful by simply checking regulations, rules and conditions in God’s word. It really is a road map in life. You know the world we live in, we will ALL face trials and struggles. It was not promised that once you got saved there would never be a trial. That is a false gospel. Those things will come, but the promise is, you will never have to face them alone. Does it help to have amazing people in your life? Absolutely! Count your blessings! God’s people we designed to be dependent on HIM! There is safety, hope and promise.

Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.” Psalm 73:23

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5. Get Forecast, Proper Clothing and Pack Essentials

~Get the weather forecast. Be sure to check the forecast as well for up to date weather news. Weather can change drastically when you are out on the trails. You do not want to be unprepared, nor do you want to get caught off guard in the middle of a summer storm.

Prepare clothing for the conditions. You can never be too prepared, said everyone but the one that carries it all. Seriously though, be prepared. Often this comes with experience, you come to pack less and less. Partially because you may be upgrading equipment as you get more experience and find what you like/dislike. Clothing is only one element of what you pack. But an important necessity. You do not want to be without a long sleeve or jacket if the bugs are eating away at you. Nor do you want to be hiking in a hoodie at 100 degrees. Be sure to dress in layers and pack accordingly.

Pack the remainder of your essentials. Depending on your hike; day or multiple nights. Prepare for each day by laying out your essentials and consumables. As you select important gear, try to include your desires as well. Then as you pack, remember to place items in easy reach that will be needed on the trail. If you do not have camel water pack that is easy access, remember to keep your bottle in easy reach. Bear spray within quick reach and so on. Self explanatory as it may be, keep in mind alternating the order in which items go into the pack may distribute the weight differently and more comfortably.

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As in our christian lives, it is important to have the necessities. For example, it is hard to tell other people of an eternal home that exists and you can know for sure Heaven will be your home; if you do not you are going there yourself. Likewise, the experience we glean from walking with God and serving HIM. It is hard to convey to people the amazing miracles God can do in their life, if we have not seen them. As time passes, I can see more and more when I responded correctly in the midst of a trial, it was a learning experience that grew my faith. If we would continue to look at a difficulty or a prayer need in new light. More like, God what do you want to show me or how do you want to use me in this situation? I am convinced there is something He will teach us. At times it has honestly been what not to do or how not to act. In other instances we can glean as a bystander and friend in someone else’s trial. God will grow you if you have a willing heart. It is essentially up to us what we pack in this life.

We can choose to carry the weight of this world, or hand them over to God and let HIM bear the extra load. Holding on to extra weight is unhealthy, tiring and causes fatigue. Friend, are you carrying more than you need to? Can you imagine taking a day hike up a beautiful path, with a pack you did not load? Once you get to the top of the cliff, oh what beauty! But as you unzip the pack to reach for a snack, all you see is a giant sack of flour. We do the same thing, when we hold onto things God did not intend for us to pack and tote our whole life. God gives us ingredients. It is up to us to make something with them. And yes, not everyone has the same ingredients. Some of the most amazing people I have met serving the LORD faithfully have had very difficult trials in their life. BUT, they gave them to God. They let GOD use them for HIS glory. HE did. HE will in your life too.

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Preparing for the christian weather is unpredictable, but we can prepare by staying close to God and in HIS word. Having the right clothing is a big factor when hiking. In our Bible there is an entire section on the armour of God. What we put on each day matters. And as we pack each day in our lives, may we pack in truth, psalms and spiritual songs. Surrounding ourselves with things that are pure and Holy will affect the rest of our lives.

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” Ephesians 6: 10-18

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6. Enjoy the Hike

Last, but not least get going! Be sure to check your gear and first aid kit, leave a trip plan, take care of your feet, avoid getting lost, eat great snacks along the way. Take photos, keep you water bottle and bear spray handy, bring carryout bags for trash and “Leave no trace” practices, AND enjoy the journey! Take a breather to collect yourself if you need to, embrace the challenges and rejoice in the triumphant milestones!

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Romans 15:13

Choose the same in you Christian walk. Stop and breath if you need to. Seek God’s strength. Embrace the challenges. Rejoice in the triumphs. Celebrate each milestone. Enjoy the journey friend!

Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.Philippians 4:4

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God in the Daily: Hiking a Beautiful Trail

Hiking a Beautiful Trail With Jesus

Enjoy the Journey!

After weighing your time available and the trail choices you have made, pick an appropriate hiking trail. Then pack accordingly.

P.S. But, I am knew here, how do you know heaven is real and my know for sure it is my eternal home? –> READ MORE of Travel Down the Roman’s Road or Let Us Travel