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Looking Above: A Story of Faith

March 04, 2018
By Ron Van Der Pol, Art Teacher

“I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2) 

King David looked up to the hills from his palace and knew that he could not find comfort and guidance from the high places and idols of the day. He knew he needed to look above to the Lord, his Maker. My faith story is one of looking above. It is a story of a legacy of generational faith, and of daily spiritual regeneration.

A painting by Ron Van Der Pol of his view of the mountains.


Growing up in Eastern Washington State, I looked to the west and could see the majestic Cascade peaks of Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier. I was reminded daily of my Creator’s majesty.

My parents and grandparents looked above to the same creator. My Grandfather, Grandmother, mother, and her siblings came across the ocean from the Netherlands in 1951. What a decision and commitment my grandfather made.

Ron, with his grandpa (Pake Jesse Timmermans)


But that was the kind of man my grandfather was. He looked above to the wisdom of his God. He was a man of strong Christian conviction, biblical knowledge, and moral lifestyle.

I was instructed biblically in my home from parents who were reared in that kind of faith. My father is a man of example; a quiet man, but strong in his belief in Jesus Christ. He and my mother sacrificed much to send me to Sunnyside Christian School. They looked above to the Lord when times were tough on the farm or financially. 

Ron, with his son and father.


When I left home, I was almost immediately confronted with the big decisions in life. Attending a large state university, I was daily met with the challenges of differing worldviews. I had a choice to make each time; and each time I chose a biblical view.

This experience really helped me become a stronger Christian and spurred my decision to become a Christian school teacher. The choice to marry my life-long partner Jessica and having children, were choices in which I had to look above in faith. These choices have daily effects in my life. “What kind of husband, what kind of father, and even, what kind of teacher will I be today?”

Ron's alma mater, Sunnyside Christian.


Each day, my faith in my Lord Jesus Christ calls me to make myself available to his calling. One of my favorite quotes is by David Ring, “God does not ask for our abilities, all he asks for is our availability.” 

I am a sinner. But God, in his undeserved grace, has given me life through his son Jesus Christ. I praise God for giving me his Holy Spirit. This Spirit works in me daily to bring me closer to God. Even though my sinful nature works hard to rebel, I have the assurance of my Father’s choosing me to be his child. 

After 24 years as a Christian school teacher, I still get excited to go to work each day. I love bringing my passion for art and for God to my students.

I value the Christian education I received. I was taught to look above in faith at an early age.

I look above with the same eyes of faith as my parents and grandparents - not to geographical hills or to a historical temple - long-since turned to rubble. I look to the same God that David did.

Soli Deo Gloria!
Ron Van Der Pol

Sandy Roth says:
March 06, 2018 05:13 PM CST
I so cherish the legacy of faith and love for Christian education that I was taught to appreciate. I really enjoyed your blog.

Bianca Tiersma says:
March 09, 2018 03:48 PM CST

Enjoyed reading Ron's story.