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Smiling Just Thinking About It:
Love and Landslides in the Himalayas

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By Eric, Himalayas REACH Team

Eric and his team have recently returned from their outreach in the Himalayas and are currently debriefing with the other REACH teams at the Rosedale International Center.

I know that God loves me. That’s a fact that I find alarmingly difficult to really absorb, to unbendingly believe, and to fully understand. My head registers God loving me as fact. But my heart often forgets it and I live as though his love has minimal impact on my life.

And yet, I’m starting to learn that the fact that God really, really loves me needs to define my life. In good times, God’s love is to radiate within me. In crisis, God’s love is still supposed to radiate within me. When I’m absolutely miserable, God’s love should still be there. He holds me up. His love should constantly enlighten me when I’m melting down.

I know all of this, but how hard it is to actually remember and believe it!

About a week ago, I was out of energy at around noon. I heard that we were going to climb a hill and pray over the town from the top. That doesn’t sound bad in writing, but then I saw the hill tower over us in the distance. From that point, I knew that this experience was not going to be the most fun I’ve ever had.

Before the walk, I’d prayed a short little “God help me” prayer, not really thinking about it, just as a little cry of need. When we began climbing up the hill, and I was feeling pretty physically weak, one of the students started walking beside me. “Eric, how are you feeling?” he asked.

I took a couple of steps and breathed out. “Still tired,” I said. He immediately proceeded to put his hands onto my back and he started to steadily but gently push me and support me as I walked. And he did this the entire way. I must say—what a life-saver! Going up that hill hardly even wore me out then. Everything went smoothly, thanks to God.

"I didn’t forget that God loved me before we left to climb the hill. However, I did forget how much his love powerfully, actively affects me. It defines me."I didn’t forget that God loved me before we left to climb the hill. However, I did forget how much his love powerfully, actively affects me. It defines me. It carries me. I am who I am because of God’s love, his perfect, powerful love. How often I forget.

Another story that blows my mind about God’s care for us as his children happened the other day. We were getting ready for a seven-hour trip to the capital. As we arrived at the bus station, we learned that every single seat on every available bus was occupied. We would either have to wait or somehow find another way to the capital.

We eventually found a small van available to take us. It was more expensive than a bus ride, but it was a ride to the capital nonetheless. We seized the opportunity and started our journey.

Midway through the trip, we came across a humongous line of traffic. It was impossible to see the end of it all. Our driver, interestingly enough, went onto the wrong side of the road and drove right past at least 100 cars before finding out what was going on. He learned there had been a landslide up ahead, and a good amount of dirt and mud covered one side of the road. Knowing this, our driver still forged ahead.

Once we got to the point where the landslide happened, it all made sense. The two-lane road that we were on didn’t have much room for maneuvering. This meant that buses couldn’t get through the landslide, which triggered the backup in traffic. Our van however, could zip right by pretty much everything, and got through without a problem. Taking a bus would have meant that we would have been stuck in traffic for a ludicrously long time. As we passed by the cars, we counted around 1,400 of them, single file, for over six miles. God graciously allowed us to arrive at our destination sooner than if we would have taken a bus there! Isn’t our God the best?!

He is a God who provides and loves like crazy, and I forget that too often. I really don’t realize how blessed I am. God truly cares about me. From giving me the support to trek up a hill, to watching over our travels, to drawing me to himself and calling me his precious child. His love—I’m honestly smiling just thinking about it; I love my great God.