These last few weeks have been different. Even as I type this, I am not sure what I’m going to say.
A huge driver for this ministry is to humbly stumble through life, so that others can see Christianity does not fit into a perfect package of good deeds, going to church, and reading your bible. There is definitely space for those things, but if we’re honest, choosing to live a life reflective of Christ and setting our eyes on something far above this world we’re living in is messy.
Christianity is amazing, eye opening, and life changingly beautiful.
It’s also often hard and gut wrenching. It completely wrecks you from the inside out.
These last few weeks have been an interesting journey. I have been through a lot of hard things through my life, and at some point I can elaborate on that. Right now though, I share that I have dealt with a lot of really difficult things because through these experiences I have learned to put on a brave face and barrel through the storms.
I have been climbing my current Mr. Everest for the last two years and was just about to arrive at the peak.
For those who hike the real Mt. Everest, it is a lengthy and costly venture. Many don’t even finish climbing to the top. They stop at a base camp, or worse yet, some succumb to the elements of nature and fall or freeze to death in their trek. While reading a story of a woman who has conquered the mountain nine times, she mentioned how common it is to see bodies along the mountainside, some even have been named as a twisted kind of landmark. There are far less who manage to climb to the peak and go on to tell their story over those who call it quits. Those who continue climbing are reminded of the risks with each frigid arm or frozen foot they see protruding from the snow as they take one more labored step.
Everything works against the traveling troupe. It’s a grueling trek up the mountainside. Hikers are at risk to be caught in an avalanche, fall, suffer from cold weather induced health complications and even become delirious from lack of oxygen at high altitudes. Frankly, nothing about it sounds appealing. For some reason people keep trying, despite the odds.
Why is it that some people choose to do hard things, when most of us would rather do anything but? Often the answer is pretty simple… to show they can.
God assigns us mountains. What do we do with them?
Most of us turn around before even taking a step. I tend to climb, and up until the last few weeks I was steadily climbing, when all of a sudden I lost my footing. I flew down the side of the mountain and landed in a broken heap. I’d been climbing bravely, only to realize that I didn’t want to get back up and take another step.
I felt so incredibly guilty and spent the next few days repenting on my selfish desire to stop moving forward. I completely broke and felt like Elijah under the broom tree, asking for God to just make his hardship stop. I hated myself for not being able to bravely face the storm in front of me.
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.1 Peter 5:10
For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” Isaiah 41:13
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5
My brokenness is not due to fear. I am not afraid of what’s to come because I know who’s really in control. Even with that knowledge, I gave into my fatigue. I am tired. It wasn’t until I stopped to actually acknowledge my selfishness and cry out to God that he began to fashion me into what he needed me to be.
Thy will be done.
Just before Jesus climbed his Mt. Everest, with a cross on his back, he came to his father with a confession. Matthew 26:39 states that Jesus fell on his face in sorrow and prayed, “My father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.
Jesus, knowing the outcome, knowing he would rise up from the tomb, had weakness before climbing his mountain.
The peace comes in relinquishing ourselves completely for our God. Not my will but yours.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you. 2 Corinthians 20:17
It wasn’t until I gave God complete control, that I began building a quiet strength. I have moved from the hurricane to the eye of the storm and stand here at the base of a looming mountain knowing my God speaks and storms cease, waters still, and mountains aren’t only moved but are thrown into the sea. There is nothing too big for my God.
I don’t know what the outcome will be, but I do know that God will use it for His good. I am here for His good, and when I see him face to face He will call me by name and I his. What a beautiful name it is and what a gift I have in being tasked to fight the good fight.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28