How far do you hike / Zeros and Nearos

The importance of shelter and finding your rest in Christ. Who is your safety? Where does your help come from?

Psalm 121: 1-8 “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.  The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.”

For many on the AT, the daily hiking is centered around getting from one shelter to another. Shelters are a unique quality on the AT. Generally they are a three sided affair, open on one side. They can sleep as few as 4 – 5 and as many as 18 depending on the shelter. Shelters are a place where water can generally be found, a place to cook, a place to sleep and a meeting point for those who have gone as far as they will or can go that day on the trail. Help, advice about the trail ahead and information about friends, fellow hikers who may be ahead of you can be found there. For the weary hiker, few things are as welcome as the site of a shelter. Especially in bad weather. Shelters can be a refuge, a safe place among kindred spirits all looking for rest.

Another option for rest are towns along the trail. These are places where a much needed Zero or Nearo day is welcomed. Zero days are day where you hike zero miles. This is a day off. A nearo day is where you may only hike a handful of miles to get into town or back out to the trail and nothing more that day. Many through hikers will schedule zero or nearo days on a regular basis to allow for rest, medical attention, resupply and laundry. Trust me. After five days of hiking, you stink. Maybe not to yourself, but to the rest of the world, you stink.

Where do you like to rest and recuperate?  What does a Zero day in your mind look like?

For the Christian man or woman, it’s important to understand where your help comes from, where you can find peace and rest and where safety is found. The world is an often dark and broken place and finding God’s peace is not easy to do all the time. We have to understand, as the psalmist understood, that any and all help for us comes from the Lord, Jesus, our Father in Heaven. Yes, there will be persons who lend us aid, offer a cool drink when we are thirsty, a meal when we are hungry, or knowledge when we are without understanding, an arm when we are tired and weak. However, we must never lose site of the sovereignty of Almighty God. It He who organizes and orders the paths of our lives. There is no happenstance, no chance, no coincidence. His WILL, will be done. Nothing can stop it. Therefore, we must look to God for our help. He is our shelter.  Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” In him we will find rest, and hope.

Write down some ways you can seek your rest in God:

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