A long time ago, I climbed a mountain, Mt. Ampersand in NYS, that was over 3,300’ high. It was like a nightmare to me because it had rained the day before, it was a pretty steep incline for a non-mountain climber, and the terrain was pretty intense! During the mountain climb, I was sure I was going to die! Somehow, I managed to survive AND even live to tell about it! I sure was thankful to have made it back down and be on “solid” ground again (after slipping in mud at the very end!) This mountain climbing experience wasn’t all bad because it made me think about the parallel of “climbing mountains” in our own lives.
The majestic view of Mt. Ampersand
First, it made me realize that often we’re lucky that we don’t know when the “upward” mountain times are coming.
Just like when climbing a mountain, you can’t always see where the path is leading or how high the path is going to be, if we knew what was ahead of us on our “mountain climb”, we’d try to avoid it and run the other way. Then we would never grow into the strong people God intended us to be.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. –Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)
If we take one step at a time or one day at a time, slowly but surely, we’ll be able to make it to the top.
When climbing a mountain, you have no choice but to put one foot in front of the other, going step by step. In our “mountain climb”, if we stop to think about how far we are or where we are on our climb, we are bound to panic or lose our balance. We need only to look straight ahead, and fix our eyes on Jesus Christ.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. –Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)
Through the rough and rocky times, we must grab onto the Lord, so we don’t slip and fall backward.
Just like climbing a mountain, we will encounter rocks and rough terrain, where it is helpful to be able to hang onto something to help maintain our balance. The same is true with our “mountain climb.” We need to keep looking ahead, gather our strength and cling to the one true Rock, Jesus Christ.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. –Psalm 18:2 (NIV)
Yes, looking like I’m about to cry…Slipping in the mud at the end!
Being prepared at all times is another important lesson.
I soon found out that hiking up a 3300′ mountain in sneakers is not being well prepared! Hiking shoes would have made the trek more bearable. For our “mountain climb”, getting in a right relationship with God is one way to be prepared. Having true friends in the Lord and knowing the Word of God are definite necessities. They are our shield and the armor of God.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. –Ephesisans 6:16-17 (NIV)
I really did make it to the top of Mt. Ampersand!
The view from the top will make all the hard “work” worth it!
Have you experienced first hand the beauty of the view once you reach the mountain’s summit? The beauty can be breath-taking and one can’t help but revel in the Creator of the Universe! Once we are at the summit of our “mountain climb”, we can thank the Lord for all He did to help us make it, enjoy the view, and praise Him for His goodness!
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. –Isaiah 55:12 (NIV)
Try to remember through the mountain times in your life, that He is always with you every step of the way!
…As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. –Joshua 1:5 (NIV)