Flattop (3,510 feet) is Alaska’s most frequently climbed mountain. Located just 13 miles from downtown Anchorage in Chugach State Park, the views from its summit are stunning. I was in Anchorage to meet with participants in an emergency exercise timed to coincide with the 50thyear anniversary of the 9.2 earthquake that hit Anchorage. After our meetings I left with the two officers who accompanied me to take pictures at a park site near the airport. While there we met Kendra, a local resident, who told us Flattop was the place to go to get the best views of the area. We assumed we were going to arrive at a place where we could take photos from our car so you can imagine our surprise when she led us from the parking lot to Glen Alps trailhead to walk 1.5 miles and climb 1280 feet! This would have been okay except that the trail was mostly mud and snow and near the top very icy and steep.
One of our party was afraid of heights so she stopped about two thirds into the climb and with the help of the other officer returned to our vehicle. Kendra meanwhile continued to climb with me behind her. As the trail grew more treacherous I began to wonder how I was going to come down. I had no gloves and was dressed in my uniform with boots that were not made for this kind of terrain. But not wanting to admit defeat with a woman who had to be part mountain goat, we continued to ascend until we made it to the top.
After we admired the scenery and took several pictures we started our descent. On the first and most dangerous part of the trail just below the summit, I slipped. I slid on my bottom for about thirty feet and went off a rock embankment before finally stopping. As I write this, I still cannot tell you why or how I stopped. By speed and momentum, I should have continued falling down that steep, snow-covered ravine and suffered injury.
Psalm 33:18,19—Now the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him—those who depend on His faithful love to deliver them from death and to keep them alive in famine.
Isn’t it good to know that our lives are in God’s hands! When we fear Him we can rely upon His love to protect us. What I did was foolish. By all rights I should have been hurt (I did give Kendra a scare). I should have stopped climbing but my pride kept me from being prudent. I should have prayed before we started coming down. I was never afraid because I took it for granted that God knew our situation and that Kendra knew what she was doing. This does not mean we can take risks and expect God to deliver us—but we can in confidence know that He understands our weaknesses and is able to save us when we are in need. “For He will give His angels orders concerning you, to protect you in all your ways” (Psa.91;11). Something to think about . . . in reveration.
©2014 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)