Last spring we went for a hike. It wasn’t your ordinary hike.

We walked up a riverbed.


Under trees, over rocks, cool water spilling over sandaled feet.

It was one of those rare hikes you wish would just keep going, and going, and going. But it wasn’t long before we rounded a bend and saw this…


Beautiful, yes.

But completely impassable.

For just a moment we thought we had reached the end of the hike. Eyes wandered longingly to the scenery that beckoned to us from up above. And then, just there to the right, we saw the footsteps.


Even now, just looking at the photo, my heart sinks right into my feet. I see the rope above, but I also see the drop off below. I see the end of the footsteps at the top, but I cannot see the even path, the sure ground, the safety waiting there.

It causes reason to pause.


Because how can you be sure the rope will hold, the footsteps will lead to safety, the heart will not fail?

Courage is required. Trust in the carver of each foothold. Faith that what lies above is worth the climb.

For some courage comes easily.


Others find it easier with the companionship of one who will ensure that their feet will not slip.


For some the pathway is too daunting.

No less faith is required, no less courage, no less trust, for those who are carried. For it takes great courage to allow someone to lift you off your feet and carry you over the place you cannot go. To trust in the strength of the one who lifts. To have faith that he will not fail you.


As I watch, my mind fills with life moments.

Moments when I have faced obstacles in my way. Times when I have felt my heart sinking into my toes. Moments when I could not see the even path, the sure ground, the safety waiting there.

The moments that give reason for pause.

Where courage is required. Trust in the Carver of the foothold. Faith that what lies ahead is worth the climb.

I have faced daunting moments.

Those moments have led me to know the Lord.

“The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust.” (Psalm 18:2)

The most daunting moments require the greatest courage. The kind of courage that allows The Deliverer to lift you off your feet and carry you over the place you cannot go. To trust in the strength of The One who lifts. To have faith that He will not fail you.

Now, in quiet moments of pause, in those most daunting moments, I breathe a silent prayer.

“Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.” (Psalm 17:5)

Then there is courage.

And trust.

And faith.


Emily Freeman
Emily Freeman took her first creative writing class in high school and has loved writing ever since. She finds great joy in studying the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Her deep love of the scriptures comes from a desire to find their application in everyday life. She is the author of several books, including The Peter Potential: Discover the Life you Were Meant to Live; 21 Days Closer to Christ; and Written On Our Hearts. There is nothing Emily enjoys more for breakfast than a bowl of coconut ice cream, strawberries, and toasted coconut. Other favorites include parades, vacations, firework displays, and going for a long walk with a good friend. Emily and her husband, Greg, live in Lehi, Utah, with their four children, whom she adores.
Emily Freeman
Emily Freeman

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