We had a hike recently where I read a devotional before the hike -something to encourage, inspire and reflect on during the journey. It has been encouraging to me -maybe it will be for you too!
(from: Devotions by Chris)
Climbing the Mountain
As I hiked up a small mountain with a group of people recently, I began to see a lot of parallels spiritually. It wasn’t long before others in the group had moved quickly enough up the mountain side and left a few of us behind. We called out to them to wait until we caught up. We wanted to go up the mountain as a group. Every so often they would get pretty far ahead and then wait for us to catch up. It’s the same in this Christian life. For some, it’s easier than others to live. Some people struggle their whole lives trying to live according to God’s ways. It’s important to stop and help others along the way.
There were times along the path where the rocks were loose and slippery. One wrong move and you would slide backwards, fall down or something worse could happen. As we went through these parts, we talked to each other, encouraged each other and showed them which rocks they needed to avoid. At times the person in front, who had a more sure footed place, would turn around and pull the other person up. In this spiritual journey, there are places where our feet slip and we fall backwards. It’s up to us who are behind them to catch them. It’s also important for those who have been through there to offer advice and a helping hand.
As we got closer to the mountain top, it got harder to climb. We needed breaks more frequently. One person in our group said, “Just go on without me. I’ll stay here for a while.” Too many times in life we give up just before our break through. We quit when things get the hardest. Yet in those times, we don’t realize how close we are to experiencing pure joy. We pushed through the desire to quit. We decided that we weren’t going to stop when we were so close to victory. We pushed through the desire to quit and it was worth it. We have to do the same thing in life. Don’t let others quit when they’re so close to victory.
As we hiked the final bit, there was a church being built up there. Members had hiked up too and were praying over the land, the city and the community around there. They were hungry and thirsty for God to move. They made the journey up in order to pray and sing praises. It was beautiful to stand there and listen to them. I have no idea what they were praying or singing, but I recognized the presence right away. God is calling us to pray over our family, friends, neighborhood, community, city, county, state, nation and world. God desires that none would perish. We need to be praying for others who are looking at the mountain of Christianity and choosing whether to climb it or to stay in bed asleep.
While we made it to the top of that mountain, we have not yet arrived spiritually. There are still twists and turns ahead. There are still difficult paths each of us will have to walk down. There will be times of rest and times of pushing forward. We cannot forget why we are climbing this mountain so that we never become content with how far we’ve come. We must keep climbing, keep helping others who are behind us and keep listening to those ahead. Our journey continues. Victory is close. Don’t give up. Don’t quit. The mountain top will be worth the climb.