Psalm 40:1-3 — “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.”

Today, I often look for that sweet spot. Previously I had no idea what I was actually looking for when I was hiking through the woods and the mountains. There always seemed to be something special about those steps that take you from the edge of the timberline and that space that can be call the alpine.

I had read about the gap between the alpine and the timberline of the Swiss/Bavarian Alps. There are acres and acres of barren spaces which are described as the alpine’s spaces of eternal ice and snow regions and the boarders of the highest pastures of the timberline.

When the sunlight touches the glaciers it reflects a reddish hue that extends from the high peaks to the forest borders.

In that sweet spot known in the Swiss/Bavarian Alps, there grows the alpine rose. It covers those many empty, barren spaces with life and color. The alpine rose isn’t actually a rose but a rhododendron.

Have you heard the saying “A rose by any other name”? It was coined by William Shakespeare. But the basic shared understanding is that it simply means that the names of things cannot affect what they actually are. As I read it, “Hope by any other name is still hope. This line is so very profound, suggesting that a name is just a label to distinguish one thing from another.”

Have you heard this saying? “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness.”

Often times, or even from time to time when frustration, loneliness or depression seem to dog our footsteps, we feel we have stepped out from the protective security of the forest and all we can see is the emptiness and the cold harshness of the frozen peaks in the distance.

If we could allow ourselves to pause, breath in that sweet spot between the timberline and the alpine of our circumstances and allow God to grant us the blessing to see our ALPINE ROSE. 

The signs of life and hope. “Hope is where you find it.”

Psalm 42:6-8: “My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon — from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me — a prayer to the God of my life.”

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