“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.” 1 Peter 1:3-4
“What a view!” Grace Reid whispered, as she looked out the car window at the breath-taking mountain landscape. It was summer and the Reid’s were on their annual family vacation. This year they had made the long drive to northern Montana and were visiting Glacier National Park.
“Here’s a trailhead. How about we stop and do a little hiking,” Mr. Reid suggested.
The rest of the family agreed, so Mr. Reid pulled into the parking lot.
“I hope there aren’t any dropoffs on the trail,” Hope said to Grace as they got out.
Grace reached for her water bottle. “It looks woodsy here at the beginning. Maybe the whole trail will be like that.”
The family walked over to the trail, Samuel, Hope, and Grace leading the way, and Mr. and Mrs. Reid and the two youngest children following more slowly.
“It’s hard to believe this is summer weather.” Samuel zipped up his jacket.
Grace looked up at the bright blue sky. The sunshine and cool breeze were the perfect combination for their hike.
As they walked, they passed two other hikers who were pointing up into a tree and saying something about a bird. Samuel paused and looked into the branches of the pine tree. Consulting the brochure the park ranger had given them, he confirmed his suspicions. He quickly caught up with his sisters.
“That was a Steller’s Jay in the tree. I’ve wanted to see one of those for a long time.”
“Is it still there?” Grace asked.
The three retraced their steps, and the girls looked eagerly for the bird in the tree branches.
“There it is!” Hope cried, pointing at the blue and black bird that had just hopped from one branch to another.
Grace giggled as she looked at the bird. “It looks like someone dipped the top half of it in black paint.”
“Yeah, it does,” Samuel agreed.
After hiking awhile, the family returned to the van, ready to see more of the park.
“I want to see some wildlife,” Joseph said as he settled into his seat. “We’ve only seen birds. I want to see bighorn sheep or mountain goats.”
Samuel grinned. “Yeah, I wouldn’t mind seeing some mountain goats. I’ve seen bighorn sheep before.”
Joseph pretended to ignore him. Samuel never let him forget he’d missed seeing bighorn sheep on the trip to Pike’s Peak the previous summer.
A short time later, Joseph forgot his big brother’s teasing when the family stopped at Logan Pass. There, close to the visitor center, were a group of bighorn sheep, each with an impressive curling pair of horns. The family walked closer, while staying at a safe distance, to get a better look at the animals. Samuel and Hope snapped several pictures.
“I can hardly believe we’re actually seeing them,” Faith whispered to Grace, as though she was afraid of scaring them off. There was no need for her to worry about that, though. Other less-careful tourists went closer, but the bighorn sheep paid them no attention. They continued grazing on the grass and other plants that grew near the parking lot.
Later that day, Samuel had his wish gratified when they saw several mountain goats alongside the road. Mr. Reid pulled off, so they could get some pictures.
“I must say, they aren’t especially pretty at the moment,” Mrs. Reid commented. The mountain goats were in the process of losing their winter coats, and the excess fur hung off them in a most unbecoming way.
“But look at the kid,” Faith protested. “Isn’t it cute?”
The little kid was scampering around near its mother, curiously investigating its surroundings.
“Yes, the kid is cute,” Mrs. Reid agreed.
That evening, after enjoying their full day of hiking and seeing wildlife, the Reids were ready to head to their hotel for the night. It was in the town of Kalispell, located not far from the park entrance.
After arriving at the hotel where they had reservations, Mr. Reid went into the lobby to the front desk, to check in to their rooms. The rest of the family waited in the car.
“It sure seems to be taking awhile,” Samuel remarked after they had sat in the car for several minutes. “Check-in doesn’t usually take this long when we already have reservations.”
“Hopefully everything is alright,” Mrs. Reid said. From where she sat in the front passenger seat, she could see her husband’s face, and noticed he didn’t look exactly pleased.
After a few more minutes, he left the hotel lobby and returned to the car, dropping into the driver’s seat with a sigh.
“What’s wrong?” Mrs. Reid asked, noticing the worry on his face.
“There was a problem in their computer system, and our reservation didn’t show up. They’re fully booked for the night.”
The children stared at their dad, varying degrees of concern and surprise on their faces. What would happen now? They needed somewhere to sleep. They were all tired after all the hiking they had done, and they were ready to relax in a comfortable hotel room for the rest of the evening.
“So what do we do now?” Mrs. Reid asked.
“We try to find another hotel.” Mr. Reid spoke cheerfully, trying not to cause any more worry than his first statement had already caused.
Forty-five minutes later, the family left the parking lot of the fifth hotel they had tried. Using the maps app on his dad’s phone, Samuel navigated them to another hotel. But once again, they were turned away. Every room was occupied.
Reluctantly, Mr. Reid pulled into the parking lot of a small, rather dumpy-looking motel next to the one they had just left. He went into the lobby and was gone longer than he had been at the others.
“I guess this is where we will be staying,” Hope said as he returned from the lobby a few minutes later, room keys in his hand.
He drove them to the parking spot nearest to Rooms 140 and 141. The family unloaded their bags and headed inside. The rooms were small and not especially clean, but at least they had a place to sleep.
After they were settled, they all gathered in one of the rooms for family devotions. Opening his Bible, Mr. Reid said, “I had thought I would read a different passage, but with what happened today, I felt prompted to read 1 Peter 1:3-4. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.’”
Grace and Hope exchanged smiles at the last part of the 4th verse. They knew why their dad had chosen to read that passage.
He went on, “As we found out today, reservations here do not always work out. We thought we had a place to stay tonight because we had made a reservation. But there was a mistake and the hotel didn’t have any rooms for us.
“But we have an inheritance in heaven that is reserved for us, and God does not make mistakes. When we know Jesus as our Savior, we are guaranteed a reservation in Heaven, a reservation that won’t fail us. We can trust completely that God will keep His word and do all that He has promised. If our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, we can be assured of our reservation in Heaven.”
After the disappointment with their reservations and the run-down motel, these words helped to cheer the family. After all, what could be more important than knowing their inheritance was reserved in Heaven?