Sunday, August 1, 2010

Running on Empty...

Have you ever run out of gas and been stranded on the side of the road?  Okay, well I'll get to that in just a second.  But first, I have to set up my story properly.  This was my view this past weekend.  Breathtaking mountain top views that stopped us in our tracks from their sheer awesomeness. 
 Our beloved missionary friends, Nate and Judy- or "NatenJudy" as my children call them- were staying with us.  We adopted them several years ago and love them to pieces.  (Everyone, say "Hi" to Nate and Judy. )  We decided that a hike up a mountain sounded like fun.  (And make no mistake, it was.)
We passed through several small towns that morning.  Adrain has a car that tells you how many miles you can still drive until the tank is empty.  We had 60 or so, and knew we weren't far from our destination, so we didn't stop.  We found our mile marker, and began our little trek up a long and winding dirt road.  It was only  10 miles according to the ranger station, but it quickly became the kind of road where even the driver begins asking, "Are we there yet?"  Thick dust coated our cars once we arrived at the trail head.
We got ready and headed out.
We took plenty of time for breaks along the trail.  We had lots of good opportunities for resting, while taking in the spectacular sweeping views. 

As we reached our lookout point, I captured the most darling and completely unposed photo of my boys.  I giggled when I saw them standing in exactly the same position, left hand on hips, gazing out. 
The sister mountains seemed so rich and velvety.  The air was crisp and you could detect a faint wafting of trees, soil, and plants.  It was fresh and clean. 
The hoodlums quickly found a patch of snow to conquer. 
As we stood looking up at these mountains in awe, Adrain quietly murmured something to me.  He said, "Can you believe that if you had even a tiny mustard seed of faith, you could tell these things to move and they would?" 
We continued snapping photos of the lush beauty.
I'm always amazed that flowers like these can grow, unconcerned that snow is a mere five feet away.
Seeing such delicate, yet hardy beauty gives me hope.  I can't explain it, it just does. 
These views are such a reward for the long trek up narrow paths that leave you winded and panting for breath. 
It began to rain as we sat down to eat lunch, yet our spirits weren't dampened.  Good friends, good views, good memories in the making.  This little swell overlooked a steep drop that we couldn't help but sit near. 
I love these peeps.
I could eat my lunch here every day.  Imagine the thoughts a person could think.  World problems might actually get solved after time spent here on a regular basis. 
Of course, you always have to come back down from the mountain top and get back to everyday life.  Life is full of valleys and peaks.  FYI-I don't typically enjoy getting to the peak.  I also find myself being rather impatient in the valley, while gazing up at the peak that I've either just climbed down from, or the peak that I'm hoping to reach.  As my Mama would say, it's good to remember that "Life is about the journey, just as much as the destination."
As we headed back down the dusty mountain road in our car, we noticed that our "miles until empty" was plunging drastically.  And though we kept thinking, it could be due to the incline, we weren't really on a major incline.  While making our way home on the ten mile road, we lost over 30 miles worth of gas according to our gauge.  I started to panic. My phone battery had died, and Nate and Judy were quite a ways behind us.  I knew we could flag them down if we had to, but it wasn't exactly the way we wanted to end our day.  Adrain reached across the seat for my hand and in a calm and reassuring way suggested that we pray about it.  We had about 9 miles until empty and it was dropping by the minute.  We didn't really know exactly how far the nearest gas station was.  I prayed and then continued to panic.  A quite hush had fallen over the car and my mind snagged at what Adrain had said to me on the mountaintop.  If I prayed, and had faith, then I shouldn't be freaking out.

Yet I was.  Which meant that I wasn't really trusting God.  By this point, we had about 4 miles left, and had just come out onto the main highway.  I took a deep breath and whispered, "I trust you."  I had to keep reminding myself that faith doesn't freak.  

At just 3 miles left, I looked over at Adrain, and we both spontaneously burst out laughing.  At some point, you have to accept, and roll with it.

At 2 miles until empty, we laid eyes on a Shell station about 100 yards away, and our entire car burst out cheering. 

I don't know if you're running on empty, but I was.  In so many ways.  This moment was just the boost I needed, though it sounds silly.  Faith moves mountains, and when you're running on empty, God is able and faithful to get you to your destination with time (or gasoline) to spare.  Don't sit in your car seat, freaking out on your own, while driving through the valley.

Trust Him.  Let go, and enjoy the journey.  (Even if your tank is low.)

(Continue following my journey for steadfast faith, here.)

"I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you." 
Matthew 17:20


  1. I just love this post - the PHOTOS are so beautiful (I think I need to have some moments like me - when it's just me and some beautiful nature around me. How can you not believe, huh?) But the story about the gas ... running lower and lower ... yes, faith can see you through to the end, in more ways than one. Thanks for sharing this afternoon with us. So wonderful!

  2. Faith is full of surprises.

  3. You have no idea how much I needed that today. Thank you Sasha

  4. What a great picture of your little family. It's nice to see some pics of that once in a while. So cute.

    We all need some faith to get us through....sometimes it's tough to move that mountain.

  5. My favorite post from you yet girl! Isn't He the greatest :)

  6. There was that time I actually ran out of gas driving for miles and miles on an empty country highway. Finally, my car died. I was just ten feet from the gas pump.

    I asked a few guys to help me push my car up, laughing. It was like God was letting me know He'd heard my prayers and rescued me. Letting. Me. Know.

  7. Oh I LOVE This post! Thank you thank you thank you for sharing. My tank is empty these days!

  8. Definitely needed to read this today. Thanks, girl.

  9. What a great story of faith! Love the beautiful pictures.

  10. Beautiful! God is so good!

    : )

    Julie M.

  11. Thank you for a much needed reminder and some beautiful views to go along with it.

  12. Your pictures were beautiful and this was a sincerely beautiful reminder of God's hand in our lives.

  13. Beautiful - words, story, pictures! (Were you at Artist Point?) So cool.

  14. Girl, this is a fabulous post. I.LOVE.IT. What a great reminder. Thank you. And the photos are absolutely breathtaking. Wow.

  15. Yay! Beautiful hiking. It reminds me a lot of my favorite hike ever on Mt. Wincester near Baker. I love that you host m's too!
    Hugs from Congo!

  16. First of all it looks like you are in the Sound of Music or something. That is just unbelievabley beautiful and it's here in US?? Wow!

    Great story of faith there little Sasha. Many teachable moments:) So glad you didn't run out of gas. That would have been such a downer.

  17. Gorgeous!! And how was yesterday? I was praying...

  18. There IS joy in the journey ~ and roses to smell in the roughest of places!! yet... isn't it funny that even when we KNOW we can trust we worry anyway?! and we have to talk ourselves into trusting! the blessing is it always keeps me longing to be closer... the kind of closer so I will naturally trust.. I guess that too is part of the journey?!! ya think?

    I love love Wa mountains!! We are blessed to have such awe inspiring beauty in our mountains and waters!

  19. WHERE ARE YOU???? It looks like Mt. Rainer, but then I question it. Anyway, this is what I needed today. My "faith" light is on, warning me that I need to fill up. Thank you for helping me gain perspective on what is truly important.

  20. I can always count on your posts to make me smile! What a great reminder, thanks! :)

  21. I can't get over the beauty of these photos. What an incredible experience that must have been!

  22. This WHOLE post was just what I needed today. My faith has been tried so much the last few months...and today I was so worried about some little matters...I am so glad he loves us so much! :-)

    Thanks for sharing your faith. You're an awesome woman and huge blessing!

  23. I love the message of this post. Loved this post. LOVED LOVED loved your gorgeous pictures with the breathakingly beautiful scenery.

    That pic of your boys with hands on hips is just too precious. Blow that one up. Frame it. So perfect.

    Glad you made it down those mountains safely. Faith does not freak. Love it.

  24. What a wonderful post with beautiful pictures and a great example of answered prayer. That is a very bad feeling when your gas is near empty and you still have a ways to go! Glad you made it!!

  25. Lovely post!!!
    And gorgeous photos:) :)

  26. What a gorgeous spot to go hiking. I thought the Alps were great, but your photos just leave me breathless.

    I remember one time I thought I was running out of gas, but it turned out, that I still had plenty when I got to the gas station. It had been only a technical problem...

  27. what amazing views.
    you got some fabulous amazing photos and i bet they don't even do it justice. it looks like a spectacular place to get refueled. :)

  28. Sasha....thank you! Thank you, thank you, thank you....I needed this so bad today, right at this very moment!


  29. Have read it twice..two days in a row. Giving things up to Him so hard, but I am learning. Thanks for sharing.

  30. GORGEOUS! and yes, i think world problems COULD be solved there!

  31. This was a beautiful post, both in photos and in inspiration. I'd be the one to freak out too :-) Why is trust always so hard when it's you that's having to do it? We always have so much more for others than we do for ourselves. It looks like your in the Alps!

  32. Those photos- oh my- breathtaking.