I pray that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height….Ephesians 3:17-18
I was blessed by a simple yet profound question I was asked this week. It was so divine, unexpected, and beautiful that I had to write about it. The question was this: “Why do people climb mountains?”
My answer was this: “To reach new heights! Mountains are oftentimes where powerful and life-changing events occur; events that alter the course of history. A few examples from the Bible: Jesus and the Mount of Olives; Jesus and Calvary (Golgotha); Mount Sinai; Mount of Beatitudes, Mount Moriah, Mount Carmel; Mount Ararat, Sermon on the Mount – and many more! I am eternally encouraged by what God has done through His Son, as well as the amazing things He has done in and through His people with a mountain as a real-life backdrop!”
As you can tell from my points of exclamation, I was pretty excited about the question – and my answer. 🙂 The multitude of mountain experiences revealed to us throughout the Bible is a faith-builder in every sense of the word. It sparked yet another fire within me. (By the way, I really encourage you to read up on the mountain experiences I mentioned!)
I admire mountain climbers. It takes a certain level of strength, fearlessness, resilience, and perseverance to climb mountains. To reach new heights. With the weight on their backs that contains all of their most pressing needs; the heaviness of the apparel that keeps them adequately clothed for the difficult journey ahead; and the cares of this world that they carry uphill with them, struggling to lay them aside….it’s a wonder that mountain climbers don’t take frequent breaks – or give up. But their purpose is clear, their path is set, and their destination is in sight – and they know that with just a little more patience, strength, and endurance, they’ll conquer those peaks. They’ll reach the highest mountain – because they have someone who is there waiting for them when they reach the top of that mountain.
I have mountains to climb in my own life. Those situations and circumstances that keep me on my toes. Those pressing concerns that I stay in prayer about as I walk out my faith. Those battles that I seek to conquer as I move forward in the climb. Yet, there have been a few mountains I’ve climbed all the way up to what was waiting for me there. And I experienced victory. I experienced a joy you wouldn’t believe. But guess what…following those victories, God in all of His grace simply gave me another mountain to climb. That’s love. Some kind of love.
I marvel at the many ways that God humbles us. We can be smack dab in the middle of a victorious dance, and He will interrupt us and bring us right back to reality. He may hand us another assignment, another mountain. He may remind us of an issue in our lives or in someone else’s life that needs special attention. He may remind us of our calling, our purpose, and our duty in this life. Whatever the case may be, He is graciously redirecting us; refocusing our eyes and fixing our gaze back on Him. And He is also stretching us beyond our own ability and giving us His strength to climb yet another mountain.
So my next statement goes without saying: I’m continuing to climb. Every mountain the Lord gives me comes with a determination to follow-through. I won’t lie – sometimes, the mountain is tough. It’s steep. It’s filled with dirt and debris and all kinds of unexpected things along the journey. Though I’m tempted to look back at times, I realize that I’ve come way too far for that. I press toward the mark (Philippians 3:13-14), for eternity, eternal glory is there waiting on me. And come what may, I will not stop climbing…because I know that what God has for me when I reach my destination is priceless.
My love, you who are reading these words right now: Seek to be a mountain climber who is known for persevering in the midst of adverse circumstances. Seek to be a mountain climber who is determined to reach their destination no matter what stands in their way. Seek to be a mountain climber who conquers every feat set before them – against all odds. Keep going. Keep climbing. Keep reaching. And keep praying along the way. Because His promise to you is a promise of a great, eternal reward. Infinitely better.
…And to know the love of Christ, which passes all knowledge, that you might be filled with all of the fullness of God.
Now unto Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think, according to the power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:19-20
With God’s love.
Soli Deo Gloria,