A Biblical Trek Through the Great Land of Alaska

Heather GillisFaithLeave a Comment

Moving to this great state only a couple of years ago, I can’t help to take in all of it’s greatness, it’s beauty, and magnificence. As a newcomer to this state, my fresh eyes see things that capture my attention and can’t help to notice as I venture through this great land, all the biblical references.

Alaska itself lives up to it’s name meaning, ‘the great land.’ I can’t help to think how this great land relates to Moses and the Israelite’s wandering in the desert for 40 years, for God to lead them to ‘the promised land.’

As the looming physical darkness of our winter season approaches, there has also been a presence of spiritual darkness lurking in our great land. Every day there seems to be news of another shooting and murder. It seems that evil has taken up camp and resided here.

No matter how dark the darkness, it can never extinguish the light of Jesus. In fact, the darker it gets, the brighter his light shines. Evil can never change what God has already done. Our God is bigger and cannot be defeated.

It is true that evil is present in our state. But truth is, evil can never take away God’s presence. He is very much here with us every moment of every day. He has left us reminders in this state how one day we too will be taken to the promised land.

God’s goodness is here, present, alive within us and in this great state. Let’s imagine for a moment we are the Israelites wandering around Alaska instead of the desert.
A Biblical Trek Through the Great Land of Alaska-

It all started in the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth. I think God had fun when he created Alaska. He put so much thought and detail into creating this amazing land. There are over 3 million lakes, over half of the world’s active glaciers and has 17 of 20 highest peaks in the U.S. Alaska has over 43 of the 53 active volcanoes in the U.S. It is home to the Northern Lights, and viewing of some of the most amazing constellations and stars. Alaska has over 35 species of mosquitoes, home to some of the most amazing wildlife and has some of the most stellar fishing for halibut and salmon.

This winter, look up and you will see the star lit on top of the 4,000 foot Mount Gordon. For 55 years the tradition of lighting the star every winter season, illuminates the night during our long season of darkness. I can’t help to think about the three wise men following the star to Bethlehem in hopes to see baby Jesus.

Head south towards the Kenai Peninsula and you will enter into the town of Hope. It is a town nestled amongst the mountains and at the mouth of the Turnagain arm. What a treasure to discover Hope among the mountains and deep waters.

Travel even further south and we come upon the Resurrection Bay in Seward. What a wonderful reminder of God’s plan for us. That we are not defeated by our circumstances but resurrected in Christ because of what he did for us.

Let’s travel north to the town of Bethel. Bethel means ‘house of God.’ In biblical times, this is where people went to seek counsel. It is where Jacob had his dream of a ladder to heaven and angels ascending from heaven.

It was God’s message to Jacob that, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.” (Genesis 29:15 NKJV). Jacob then wakes up and says “surely the LORD is in this place and I did not know it.” He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than that house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!” (Genesis 29:16-17 NKJV).

Lastly, there is an anchor in Anchorage. Chances are if you are reading this post, you are a woman in the word; a woman who prays. Prayer is what is what will anchor us through this darkness and bring the darkness to light. Together we can shine the light of Jesus brighter than any light, by staying devoted in prayer and allowing God’s light to shine through us.

“This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.” Hebrews 6:19 NLT

Despite the present spiritual realms of darkness, stay focused on God’s presence, in His greatness and goodness. Don’t let the enemy fool you in putting your hope in what you see. God is at work in a bigger way than we can ever imagine.

There is an eternal hope in Alaska one that can never be extinguished by any darkness. This winter season, don’t focus on the darkness, but on how bright the stars shine, God’s purpose, intent and creation.

Am I missing anything? What other wonders are in this great land of Alaska that God has showed you?

In Him,
Heather

About Heather Gillis

Heather received her master’s degree in Nurse Anesthesia at Villanova University. She works full time as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist at a surgery center in Alaska. She is author of “Waiting for Heaven: Finding Beauty in the Pain and the Struggle,” and a contributor for “Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Joy of Less.” She also writes weekly Christian devotionals on her blog www.heathergillis.com. Heather and her husband Mac, reside in Alaska with their two living children. When she is not working, writing, or taking care of the house, you can find Heather running the trails, reading, taking the kids to gymnastics and choir, crafting with her daughter, building legos with their son, camping with her family, spending time with friends or volunteering wherever God takes her! To read her blog, learn more about Heather and her ministry visit www.heathergillis.com.

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