“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
My friend Ron had been laid off from his job. He was his young family’s sole support. He loved and trusted the Lord, but he felt little sense of guidance about his future. Trying to collect his thoughts, he decided to make a day hike by himself.
An experienced hiker, he went up the mountain trial of a lone peak in Southern California in December. It was a grey winter day, and the mountain peak was wrapped in clouds. As he climbed the trail he hit heavy fog and had to carefully watch his steps. He knew the farthest place he could go on the trail, when he had to turn back in order to make it home by nightfall.
All through that long hike he could not see the mountain or the vista he knew lay below him. There was only the fog and trail in front of him and a thin line of dripping shrouded pines on both sides of him. There was no clear sense of direction or future – exactly the way he felt about his life.
As he went on, he neared the point on the trial where he would...