The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. –Habakkuk 3:19 NIV
My friend Amy and her husband, Matt, are mountain climbing enthusiasts. So much so that they take a mountain-climbing vacation every year. They’ve scaled the heights in Switzerland, Canada, Mexico, and Norway, as well as all over the U.S. Currently they’re in Italy and are headed to Croatia.
In the months prior to their mountain-climbing expeditions, Matt and Amy train hard, strengthening muscle and endurance.
And when they head for the peaks, I follow their mountain-climbing exploits on Facebook. And am blown away. Yesterday Amy posted pictures, noting the climb was “long, scary, cold, big.”
It sure looked scary. Spikey and steep. Like almost straight-up steep.
“But I did it!” she commented. “Matt is an awesome mountain guide.”
The view from the top was breathtaking. And worth the climb.
For Amy and Matt, that is. You won’t catch me on a mountaintop unless I ride up. In fact I have – last year we rode to the summit of Montana’s Whitefish Mountain in a closed gondola. And when I was in Colorado Springs, I took the Cog Railway 14,000 feet to the top of Pike’s Peak.
Life has it mountain-climbing moments, doesn’t it? Long. Scary. Steep. Spikey. Cold. Big. Seemingly impossible. And no rides to the top.
And in life, our training for the tough climbs is the tough climbs.
But we have a Guide who gives us the strength we need. Indeed, when we are weak, He is strong (2 Corinthians 12:9–10).
On the climb, He enables us to scale the heights, making us sure-footed (even when our hearts and minds aren’t so sure) and keeps us safe, encouraging us with these words: “Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified or dismayed or intimidated. For I am with you wherever you go. I will never leave you or forsake you” (Joshua 1:9, Hebrews 13:5, Deuteronomy 31:6).
The climb itself strengthens us like no ride to the top ever will. Not only are we strengthened physically, but also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
“It was tough,” we can say. “It was long, scary, cold, steep, and big. But I did it! Jesus is an awesome guide.”
The view at the top is breathtaking – and worth the climb.
It is a view we carry with us as we descend and then traverse the valleys of life. A memory that strengthens our resolve because we know we are not alone. We have a Guide who enables us and will never abandon us, even when we’re clinging to the side of a cliff. A Shepherd who will leave the 99 and seek and save the one who wandered away.
And we are encouraged because we know when the next mountain looms before us and there is no way around it, we can strap on our mountain-climbing gear and follow our Guide up to the top.
Are you climbing a mountain now? Clinging to the side of a cliff? Or at the base of an intimidating spikey tower, staring up in dismay at the climb before you?
Rest assured, precious one, you are not alone, even though at times you may feel alone.
Anchor your faith not in your feelings, which fluctuate like weather on a mountain, but in the One who gives His angels charge over you, to guard you in all your ways (Psalm 91:11). And who is with you every step of the climb.
Thank You, Lord, for making the view worth the climb. Thank you for being my Guide. Amen.
Read and meditate on Romans 5:1–5.
MORE PICTURES FROM AMY AND MATT:
© 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved. Pictures courtesy of Matt and Amy Talladay, © 2018.