If you want to see God, look in the valleys. Look in the deserts. Look in the tough climbs. Look in the impossible journey you believe there’s no way you can continue. There, you will find him. You will find him revealing his power to you in divine timing and supernatural details only he can orchestrate.

The problem is, we spend most of our lives trying to avoid the very circumstances that bring us face to face with God’s power. But Honey, think about it … how are you possibly going to know of his strength to keep going if you don’t first completely run out of your own strength? How will you know of his better plans if your good plans aren’t first cancelled? How will you overcome greater things than you ever imagined possible for you, if you’re not in a situation of having to overcome?

Look around in your struggle. Dig deep in your disappointment. There is more here than meets the eye. God is here revealing himself to you. If you seek him on this climb, you will find he has brought you here for something greater than you originally set out for. Oh Sis, you thought you were just hiking … nope, you were having an encounter with God!

I’m always amazed by how God shows up during our BIG Life Retreats. Without fail, he shows up where I didn’t have him on our schedule, in events I didn’t have planned. And if given the choice, I would have avoided those circumstances at all costs. Circumstances like heat exhaustion and a few hikers pushed beyond their limits. Circumstances like wrong turns and empty water bottles. Circumstances like, do we need a helicopter rescue at this point?

Interestingly enough, group 1 of our Sedona Retreat mistakenly ended up on the hardest trail in Sedona, legit mountain climbing when mountain climbing was not our intention. That’s a story of God’s divine details for another day, and I assure you, there are plenty. But this morning, I tell you about the lesson learned from the hard trail chosen in group 1 which led me to choosing the easier trail for our retreat group 2.

Easier was our intention. Easier was our desire. Easier was not what we received. No, we weren’t mountain climbing on the hardest trail, but we were trudging for over 6 miles in 96 degree direct sun for a meeting with God. Yes, I say meeting with God, because we were about to pray desperate prayers we didn’t plan on praying.

Just when one of our hikers was to the point of collapsing, we realized a mistake had been made and we were on a trail that would add miles and difficulty she could not bare. Turning around was our only option. I assure you, the last thing we wanted to do was turn around. As we did, we began to pray aloud. We prayed for supernatural strength. We prayed for water we didn’t have. We prayed for a way out.

Soon after praying, a jeep with an open seat and the ability to get our hiker out appeared. Now, had we not been on the wrong trail, we could have missed this angelic jeep in the color of pink, and I’m pretty sure we could have spent the night camping right there, when camping was not on our retreat agenda!

But God showed up on that trail for a woman who just 4 hours before had questioned how to see God in her life. I had told her at the beginning of the hike we typically find him in the disappointments and hardships. Little did we know, God had a planned encounter with her on that hike to reveal himself. How? In the hardest hike of her life and at the exact moment she couldn’t continue on.

Look around Sis, God is here in this place you didn’t want to be in. He is here in this struggle you really wanted to avoid. He is here in your wrong turns and dead ends. Will you look for him?

2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Feeling weak here, Sister? Prepare yourself for God’s power to be made perfect! This is where you find grace that is perfectly proportioned for everything you are lacking here. He has brought you here so you can come face to face with this grace and power.

It is your choice to either see his grace and power here, or completely miss it. Your perspective and attitude determine what you walk away with. You can walk away from this swearing it was the worst experience of your life … or you can walk away knowing God wanted to reveal himself to you, and he perfectly positioned you in weakness to receive his power.

What will you choose today? Your attitude will define this journey. Your perspective will determine your takeaway. Are you defeated, or are you empowered in your weakness to see God’s positioning of details?

Isaiah 40:29 “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.”

This hardship you would have chosen to avoid … this struggle you would have preferred to skip out on … this is your positioning to receive God’s power. After all, how will you know of his strength, unless you have first become weak? How will you know of what he has made possible, unless you first stare at the journey ahead and declare “this is im-freaking-possible?”

No, we didn’t have a 4 hour hike scheduled. No, we didn’t plan on running out of water and facing heat exhaustion. No, we didn’t plan on any wrong turns. I would have preferred an easy hike that day. I would have chosen a joyous stroll. But God wanted to show his strength. He wanted to prove his power. He had scheduled an encounter that would leave us all exhausted, yet convinced of his ability to do the impossible.

1 Corinthians 15:57 “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Girl, you are standing in victory today! Never forget that. You have gotten through things you didn’t think you could get through. You’re here today with a 100% survival rate. Remember that, and look for it in your next struggle and disappointment.

God is continually trying to show you his power in your life. You choose whether you see the supernatural strength, or you relive the struggle. You choose whether you see his covering, or you continually retell the hardship. He is asking you to see him here in this. He is asking you to admit you are weak and receive his strength. He is asking you to cry out to him, then realize all the divine ways he has answered and is answering.

How do you know when you’ve been positioned for his power? When you’re feeling completely weak! How do you know when you’re walking into his victory? When you feel hopelessly defeated.

End of the story … we all made it out of that hike alive and 1 hour later we sat on a rooftop deck for dinner in dresses, celebrating an evening we weren’t sure would come … and it was that much sweeter. We are that much closer, and that much more certain God’s power really is undeniable. And for my sister who asked how to see God in her life .. well, she knows for SURE he shows up in moments of sheer desperation and weakness, and he gives strength to do the impossible and delivers us to victory in Jesus!

And Sis, he’s doing the same for you right now!

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