• Kristen Hepner

Wide Places


I keep coming across the phrase, “He puts your feet in wide places” in Scripture. I absolutely love the imagery of this.

2 Samuel 22:20

“He also brought me forth into a broad place;

He rescued me, because He delighted in me.

Psalm 18:19

He brought me forth also into a broad place;

He rescued me, because He delighted in me.

Psalm 31:8

And You have not given me over into the hand of the enemy;

You have set my feet in a large place.

Psalm 118:5

From my distress I called upon the Lord;

The Lord answered me and set me in a large place.

Each of these passages refer to being rescued from a narrow place.


I know there have been times in my life where I have felt “stuck between a rock and a hard place”.


This imagery is completely opposite of what God desires for us. God desires for our lives to be lived in a place of freedom, a broad place, a place where we can feel safe and secure.

My man loves to hike. I guess after more than twenty years of following him up and down mountains, I would have to say that I like to hike…I don’t LOVE it, but I don’t hate it either. The little legs of all seven of my children have hiked more mountains than most people will in their lifetimes. They too have a love-hate relationship with the activity.

The journey up the mountain is everyone’s nemesis. It’s usually hard going. Every now and then we will come to an open meadow or flat stretch and all of our spirits lift a little. However, there are those steep inclines that make your legs burn and your lungs reach new capacities. I know, these things are all good for us, but we don’t love them.


Jesus tells us in His word that there will be times in our lives of great trials, steep inclines, that we are going to have to push through (James 1).


However, just like on those long hikes, those steep inclines and trials too are good for us. They help to refine us into the men and women of God that He has created us to be. While we may not love the process or the journey, we need to push through. And while we may not be able to run or skip up those inclines in life, He will help us to put one foot in front of the other. With each step that we take to push through, our spiritual muscles are getting stronger and stronger…and so is our faith.

What my husband loves the most on these hikes is the end destination, often times the top; the peak of the mountain. There is a sense of achievement and concerting a goal that does something for his man-heart. Don’t get me wrong, I love the view as well, but my heart and mind are not made like his. It is at these top, rocky places that my Mama Bear goes on overload. IT IS SO DANGEROUS! There are cliffs, drop-offs, and the potential of death on all sides. The kids are usually oblivious to the dangers that surround them and as much as I yell, “stay away from the edge” they remain at peace and enjoy the view with a childlike innocence. Oh, if only I could join them and have their faith.

When the kids were little, we were told, “little kids, little problems…big kids, big problems”. Don’t get me wrong, I have the best kids around, but life is full of cliffs and edges, dangers and falls. But life is also beautiful. If only I could teach my soul to be calm, sit with the Prince of Peace on the mountaintop and enjoy my view with a childlike faith.


I am such a work in progress.

Recently, I watched one of my children walk through a hard time. The feeling of a “mama” wanting to help their child is a very powerful emotion. It can easily turn into anxiety, anger, worry, or helplessness. I read a quote today that really spoke to this situation. It said, “You will always find it difficult to rest in the midst of a storm when you feel it’s your responsibility to calm the storm." Reading those words reminded me of Jesus’s words in John 16:33 that say, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world”. Even though I cannot fix the troubles in the lives of my children, God can. I convince myself to change my thoughts and enjoy the view. Instead of being anxious and worried about them, I am going to pray to God who does have power and ask Him to be their peace…and mine.

These thoughts bring me back to my initial thought. “He puts your feet in wide places.” God’s desire is for His people to live a life confident in His placement. God is in control of everything that is happening in your life, and mine. He is not surprised or anxious and He wants you to trust Him. There is a deep hope and peace when we train our hearts to rest in the Lord. Uphill climbs will continue to be difficult, but they will strengthen you. Instead of questioning the struggle, embrace the journey, knowing that every step and every tear is not in vain…and is seen.

There will also be mountaintop views. These may feel scary at times and we may get distracted from all the beauty around us. In these moments, ask the Lord to give you a childlike wonder…free of fear and failure and a heart full of awe as you innocently lean into your Heavenly Father.

Enjoy the view. Embrace the journey. And know that God is in control. He sees you. He loves you.

Psalm 18:19

He brought me forth also into a broad place;

He rescued me, because He delighted in me.

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