Over the last week, Lydia and I visited friends in northwestern Wyoming! We trekked through North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. We all stayed in a little town near the Shoshone National Forest, about 80 miles from Yellowstone.
In college, I traveled to Wyoming several times with these friends. Then, Life happened, and it became more sporadic. I was last out there four years ago, a few months before Lydia was born. That’s when Dave and I enjoyed his first and only trip.
Last week, Lydia experienced her first time fishing, and loved “helping” bait the rods. We ate trout, rabbit, buffalo, elk, antelope and even some farm-raised emu. We reminisced about fun times, and watched the kids play together. It was almost as if no time had passed.
Along the way, we drove through ancient canyons. God’s glory was displayed in bright yellow leaves and rocky cliffs. Autumn came early with the cool weather. I had forgotten about how beautiful this season can be!
Perhaps God took His paintbrush and made the yellow-tinged scenery just for us? Outstanding! The mountain air was crisp, but still warm enough for snow on the mountains to melt after a few hours. Cold, bubbly water flowed over rocks in the river beds of the national forest.
During our stay, we saw many animals on the open range. Horses, cattle, sheep, deer, and a small buffalo—ahem, bison—herd roamed and grazed. A bald eagle flew along a creek, and a black bear climbed up the mountainside.
By God’s grace and perfect timing, I was able to experience His goodness and glory in Wyoming. Eagerly, I listened for anything the Lord might want to teach me.
The day before two friends hunted antelope, we wore ear protection as they sighted in their rifles. I watched the yellow leaves fall to the ground in silence. And, that’s when I sensed the Lord speak. He reminded me of these things:
1. Perspective can change over time. I traveled the same roads four years ago, but hardly recognized them now. There were few new buildings or signs along the way. I simply noticed different details in the breathtaking view. Time doesn’t heal all wounds, but with God’s help, Life can be good again.
2. Only God does not change. Even as the rocky cliffs slowly erode over centuries, and as falling leaves signal a new season, God remains constant. He is always good! His love reaches to the heavens and His faithfulness reaches to the sky (see Psalm 36:5)!
3. In the light of God’s glory, everything else in all of creation is subject to change. Seasons change and bring new color, changes in landscape, and growth. It is the same with the seasons of our lives. Change can be difficult at times, but is necessary for growth.
4. In the glory of God’s presence, our hearts and lives change. With prayer and time spent with the Lord, He changes our perspective and circumstances. Sometimes those changes take a long time to come—years even. Don’t give up seeking God’s heart in prayer for personal needs and the needs of others! (2 Corinthians 1:20)
5. Don’t underestimate the impact of godly friends. These dear friends have helped shape my life for the better. Over the years, we’ve challenged each other to grow and make tough decisions. We have encouraged each other and provided mutual accountability.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17).
Thank You, God, for great friends, a safe trip, and an awesome adventure in Wyoming! 🙂