Joshua Tree National Park, California

We visited Joshua Tree National Park 3 times in February & March while we were staying at Sam’s Family Spa in Desert Hot Springs, CA.

Do you know how Joshua trees got their name? I didn’t. My google-research indicated that the name came from a group of Mormons who thought that the unique trees looked like Joshua, leader of the Israelites, reaching his hands up to heaven. The trouble is, I can’t seem to find a story in the Bible about Joshua reaching his hands up to heaven. The closest thing I can find is in Exodus 17:8-16 where Moses holds up his hands to heaven (with assistance from Aaron and Hur), while Joshua fights and defeats the Amalekite army. As long as Moses held up his hands, Joshua was winning, but when his hands fell the Amalekites were winning. Moses lifting up his hands was a symbol of asking God for help. Knowing that the Israelites couldn’t defeat the Amalekites on their own.

This Bible story is so relevant to our current situation. I want to remember that I can’t do this on my own but that God can do anything. When I remember the story of the Israelites, wandering around the desert for 40 years and how God was with them every step of the way, I feel encouraged. It sparks my faith that God is with us as we wander around in our RV, make mistakes, wonder what to do next, and try to seek Him. I want to have “hope like Moses in the wilderness” (from our current theme song, Confidence by Sanctus Real). I hope for new future for my family. A different future than the one I was imagining 7 months ago. I also want to be strong and courageous, like God told Joshua to be. Some days this is just plain hard. Sometimes I get scared and homesick and wonder what in the world we think we are doing living in an RV?

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:7

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

Here are our photos from Joshua Tree, one of the most awesome places I’ve ever been!

Day 1: (2/15/19) we hiked 1.6 miles on Hidden Valley Trail. Then E and the boys hiked a few blocks up to Keys View while K and I stayed in the car.

Day 2: (2/23/19) we hiked 1.6 miles on Barker Dam Trail and a few blocks through the Cholla Cactus Garden. We were all impressed with Muga’s scrambling moves on Barker Dam trail! K learned not to touch Cholla cactus, not even with the toe of your shoe! We also played in the snow on this day! Desert snowball fight!

Day 3: (3/16/19) we hiked 2.5 miles on Wall Street Mill Trail and did a little scrambling around at Cap Rock.

Unfortunately, Geology Trail Road was closed on each of our three visits. Next time Geology Trail, next time…

Here’s a great devotional about the Israelites wandering in the desert.

Thanks for following us on our adventure!

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