The Strength to Move Mountains
I remember very clearly the sensation of standing at the bottom of the trail looking up. It was the steepest hike I had ever done – and frankly, I wasn’t at all sure that I would make it to the top. But I was with a group, and it wouldn’t do to back out at the last second. The first mile was fun. The second mile was hard. The third mile was agonizing. And we were only halfway up.
Sometimes life hits you with what seem like insurmountable obstacles. Or perhaps it’s the sheer volume of problems that has knocked you off of your feet. You feel discouraged. Disheartened. Downtrodden. Perhaps there are no people around you that you can turn to that will help you get back up. When you feel defeated, when you are being attacked from all sides, remember that you are not alone in this fight. There is a Friend who will be with you at all times, no matter what you are going through.
When I saw that we were only at the halfway point, I almost turned back. I almost sat down in defeat. I almost turned around to start the descent, abandoning all hope of reaching the peak. But something in me wouldn’t let me quit. I knew that despite the pain of the climb, it would be worth it. I knew I would always regret giving up. I kept going.
Life seems so easy from the top, looking down. The pain of the climb fades to a distant memory. But as you scale the peaks of your life, it can be tempting to quit. To slow down. To stop. And the more you slow down, the harder it is to pick up the pace again. The more often you stop, the harder it is to start back up. Why keep climbing when going back down would be so much easier? Why keep pushing when giving up feels like the safer option? In 2 Timothy 4:7, Paul describes his journey: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Paul underwent more challenges and trials in his life than many of us will ever face, yet he continued fighting, continued running, and kept his faith until the end. With God’s strength, we can do the same.
Nothing is quite like the feeling of accomplishment when you finally reach the top. Hiking six miles up a steep trail to the top of a mountain is not something I necessarily want to repeat, but I am glad I didn’t give up. And honestly, the hike made me stronger. Pushing through the pain is necessary for growth. I didn’t recognize it at the time, but those last three miles, the last mile in particular, were what made the view at the top seem so much more beautiful.
Life is full of challenges, and not all of them are as easy to overcome as hiking another few miles. Sometimes the pain and obstacles we face are things we would never wish upon anyone, much less ourselves. Maybe it’s the pain of loss. Of divorce. Of death. Maybe it’s the loss of a job. Of a friend. Of an ability. Maybe it’s the feeling of exhaustion and burnout. Of stress. Of overwhelming tiredness that saps the joy out of life. These challenges seem insurmountable, but remember: God does not and will not ever give up on you. Don’t give up on Him. He will never leave us nor forsake us. When we rely on God for our strength, we can move mountains.
Posted on: Oct. 5, 2016, 3 p.m.