Journeying into the Unknown

by John Eiselt

I don’t particularly like backpacking in the mountains.

 Journeying into a difficult season of life or into a “land” unknown is not unlike the fear and anxiety I felt as our group headed out to hike to San Luis Peak (14,022'), the highest summit of the La Garita Mountains range in the Rocky Mountains. It's beautiful, but there are so many unknowns as you head out on a multi-day trek into the mountains.

Journeying into a difficult season of life or into a “land” unknown is not unlike the fear and anxiety I felt as our group headed out to hike to San Luis Peak (14,022'), the highest summit of the La Garita Mountains range in the Rocky Mountains. It's beautiful, but there are so many unknowns as you head out on a multi-day trek into the mountains.

Don’t get me wrong, some of the most transformative moments in my faith have occurred while on literal mountain tops.

And I love everything about being in the mountain--the scenery, the wildlife, the air, and the escape from the everyday routines of life. I even like the way my hiking boots sound against the rocks and gravel on the trail.

The part I don’t like is the number of variables that are out of my control when it comes to a multi-day backpacking trek. There are forces of nature that, while part of the adventure, create an element of risk and danger, all of which can lend themselves to stress, anxiety, and even fear. 

When we face circumstances that cause us stress, anxiety, fear and even suffering, we often feel enslaved spiritually and even physically by the source of the suffering.

This feeling of enslavement often leaves us feeling abandoned, or forgotten.

It's time like these that most commonly lead us to doubt and wonder if God is there, if he hears us, if he sees our situation. We wonder if he cares enough to help, guide us, or save us. 

This week, we begin our journey through the book of Exodus, perhaps one of the greatest stories found in the broader story of God delivering his people and making good on his promises.

This the beginning of God’s people journeying into the wilderness to the promised land.

SPOILER ALERT! God is going to rescue them.

More important, though, is what is revealed to us in the way God responds and in the way he reveals his glory to his people in their times of great suffering and need.

When we journey into a difficult season of life or into a “land” unknown,  and we wonder how we'll get through it, Exodus teaches us that “Who” is the answer to “How.”