On Easter Sunday morning, David, Hannah, and I gathered with other believers to enjoy a sunrise worship service on the desert floor of the Chihuahuan Desert in far southwest Texas, near the Rio Grande River, with the Chisos Mountain range in the background. Growing up in Texas, I had never been to Big Bend National Park, where Texas meets Mexico, so the three of us took advantage of the long weekend and drove 9 hours to this dry and arid marvel of nature.
On Friday, we hiked 8 hours to the upper rim of the Chisos Mountains where we looked out upon the vast desert thousands of feet below us. Behind us, aided by the high elevation and a natural basin that trapped occasional rain water, a forest of sorts was home to various species of trees, plants, and wildlife that thrived in this high mountain oasis.
On Saturday, we hiked into the majestic Santa Elena Canyon, a 1,500 foot deep channel cut by the Rio Grande River into the Sierra Ponce cliffs. Outside of the canyon, temperatures were hot and the land was barren. But inside the canyon, next to the river, we rested on a cool sandy beach with greenery all around us. We were silent as we listened to the water lapping against rock and the birds nesting in the cliffs, with the sound of each echoing off the vertical canyon walls.
Back in Dallas, each of us remains involved in various aspects of our church’s ministries. Hannah co-teaches the high school class, Sara helps out with the children’s ministry, Jonathan participates in the youth department, David is active in his Sunday school class, and I have occasional opportunities to speak to groups.
But let me tell you about Martha. For over a year now, she has been involved in ministering to families in a government housing project near the campus of Liberty University. By volunteering to clean apartments, she has had opportunities to share the gospel with needy people. She has seen one particular family, whom she has worked with for over a year, change as a result of the gospel’s impact on their lives. Martha does this in addition to her busy school and work schedule. For her, it is the highlight of her week.
Our arch enemy, the Prince of Darkness, has His forces deployed all around us. The Lord needs ALL members of His army on active duty. The Lord is generous to allow us opportunities to rest from the battle, but I hope each of you have taken a position in the war between good and evil. That’s what we are here for.