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Deep Hikes: An Adventure to Fortify Faith and the Driest of Conditions

Updated: May 17

Do you get away to pray?  Pray for more than an hour straight?  Deep hike?  Or prayer walk?  Run?  The MonDudes are going through Matthew right now.  We read Matt 15 and Jesus getting away caught my eye.  When times get tough, how often do you get away to pray and reflect?  Whether that be in a boat or out into the desert, mountains, etc.?  Click here for the audio version yet recommended to scroll down for the pics.

Confession:  as for me, definitely not enough.  I'm better at SnapChat prayers (at least that's what I call them).  I'm in contact throughout the day in bite size pieces.  Lifting prayer requests and praises in the moment.  Very rare for me to go even an hour in prayer.  Even more rare to get away alone somewhere.  Yet on a Saturday in May, I was up early, very early with excitement to get on the trail to something called Bear Creek Oasis (La Quinta, CA).  Normally, I'm pumping tunes or podcasts through my headphones.  Not this round.  About 4+ hours of praying, listening and singing to God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit..  Yes, even singing out loud.  Not normally my vibe. 

The result.  One of my most rewarding hikes ever!  Physically, it was a tougher hike.  Oh and my first rattle snake encounter!  Safe and sound for both of us thanks be to God.  9.1 miles and about 1/2 of it a decent climb (about 2300 feet)...

Spiritually, one of the coolest things I've done.  4 hours allows you to lift a lot of people by name.  Think family and friends and all the Dude prayer requests.  Phil 4: 6-8 while in motion.  Eyes to see and ears to hear.  Surrounded by some of God's masterpieces of beauty.    

Here are a few pictures and observations...

Yes!  That sunrise picture is legit.  No AI.  No photo touchup.  Straight raw from my phone.  What a gift!  Your/our God is a master artist.  If God can do that with his sunrise, think about what he can do with the rest of your life.  At that point of the hike the saying comes to me, "Peaks do not exist without valleys...keep hiking".  Some of you are down in the valleys.  Some by choice.  Some not.  The wise will pray and ask God.  Think David in the Psalms...Psa 23:4.  What a rollercoaster that dude was!  If you have ups and downs, check out David's writings.  Screaming, crying and then praising with joy and then repeating back to despair.  Was he our first bipolar?  Just know you are not alone with despair.  This broken planet can absolutely suck at times.  Yet there is a point we need to move forward.  Keep hiking.  You are not going to rise up without moving (physically and/or metaphorically).  And we keep going, step by step, rep by rep until the end.  2 Tim 4:7.  And yes, you will have more valleys and peaks.  And then you'll look back and say, wow, look at what I hiked.  Look how far that I've come and you'll give an account to God...Rom 14:12.  So keep going, good and faithful servant...Matt 25:23.

Hike enough and you get an epic view of snow capped peaks of San Jacinto (10,834') and San Gorgonio (11.503'). Yes, snow in the desert. One of the select places in the world where you can view a mountain from sea level to over 10,000 feet.

Next, look at what our God can grow in the driest of conditions.  Stunning!  Some of you are in a very dry season.  Some of you started off absolutely flowing like water from a spring.  Now you feel dry and distant from God.  One, welcome to the club.  Go back to David in the Psalms or Moses and his complaining peeps in the desert.  The best go through dry seasons.  And look what your God can do.  Why dry?  Why distance?  Here's my theory and a few others (Casey aka Jogging Jesus comes to mind).  God doesn't want just Christian toddlers.  Sure, you can be a good Christian when everything is flowing awesome.  How about when it isn't?  Think about a person in your life that everything seems perfect.  Money flowing.  Health is great.  Family and marriage seems perfect.  And they say they love God and you say of course they do and what am I doing wrong?

Take another look at the photos.  What's more impressive?  A flower growing and glowing in perfect conditions or one in crazy dry almost impossible conditions?  Some of you are shining in almost impossible conditions.  And that my dear brother/sister is an ultimate test and answer of Faith.  Showing Matt 5:16 and Phil 4: 6-13 when most can't.  If God can grow a cactus out of rock, God can do anything out of your situation...Rom 8:28.

You fired up yet?  I hope and pray so.  If you truly love Jesus Christ, then you know or should know that he got away to pray and reflect (Matt 4 and other examples).  He also went into the desert.   He was tested.  He fasted.  He prayed.   Okay, today's litigious society is getting in my head.  Of course, be careful.  Bring plenty of water.  Let people know where you are going.  Know your physical limits.  Perhaps start with a 20 minute prayer hike and earn your way up from there.  And when you go.  Leave the headphones.  Bring your phone in case of emergency.  Get ready to be blown a good way.  Jer 29:11 

This is Bear Creek Oasis, La Quinta, CA. Quite the hike and voila a bunch of palm trees in the middle of nowhere.

Bonus, if you ever find yourself in the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs area).  Contact us at and join our next group as we forge ahead with our Deep Hikes.  


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