Sunday, December 18, 2011

Climbing the mountain

This is something that's been on my mind ever since I've been a Christian, which is about 10 years or so now. I haven't blogged for a while as I really haven't had much to say over the last month or so but I think now is a good time to get back into it.

Walking with God is a lot like climbing a mountain - a very, very tall one, made even taller if you've needed the amount of cleansing and healing that I have. It's hard work and takes a lot out of you. You can't possibly do it all in one day as it's just too far to go - nor can you just power to the top of it. It's got to be slow and methodical - one step after another.

The hardest part about climbing is that it's all uphill. The obstacles seem to be endless and often treacherous. I've never climbed a huge mountain such as Everest, but I can imagine. Often it's hard, slow and tedious, especially if you get caught in bad weather. There are times when there are obstacles up ahead which you just know you don't have any strength left to face that day so you need to learn to put them aside and wait until you have more energy the following day to attempt them.

What I can imagine would be one of the hardest parts of climbing a huge mountain is how easy it can be to forget just how far you've come. It's so easy to make your focus the destination that you forget to truly appreciate the journey and the character and determination it's building into you. You're so focused on getting to the top that you forget to realize just how much ground you've already covered. That's one of those times when you've got to learn to turn and look at the view for a moment and remind yourself of this fact. It's also a way to encourage yourself and give yourself further reason not to give up, while still maintaining an awareness of just how much further you have to go. That's when you've got to say "this view now is amazing, I've done so well to climb this far. Imagine what the view from the top is going to be like!"

My journey with God to strength and healing has been a lot like this. The deeper I have gone into my own darkness with God, the higher I have climbed towards the spiritual pinnacle I am aiming for. Somedays it feels like you are just pushing through endless darkness and getting nowhere for the second you break through one obstacle and move forwards with joy you slam straight into another one. However, there are times where I've found I've been able to get a glimpse into just how far I've climbed - such as when I face a situation that used to tie me in knots with anxiety and now doesn't bother me at all. These are the little spiritual plateaus I find myself coming to where I can just stop climbing for a second and appreciate the view.

There are days when I just feel like quitting altogether and saying "to hell with it all, I've been climbing this bloody thing forever and I feel like I've gone about 5 metres. Why do I bother? Being at the bottom seems a far easier place to be". These are the times when my climbing rope that I am eternally attached to grabs hold of me and supports me and gives me the strength to go on. That climbing rope is the Holy Spirit who recognizes when I am too exhausted to climb and just holds me up for a time, all the while encouraging me to keep going with inspiring words about how many obstacles I've overcome so far. Without Him, I'd either give up and climb back down or fall to my certain death.

My encouragement to you out there who are struggling with a similar journey is this - listen to your spiritual climbing rope and let Him carry you when you're no longer able to climb. But don't give up. Take a moment to remember the plateaus you've encountered throughout your uphill spiritual battle. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and do not let go of that rope, even though the rope will never let go of you. You think the plateaus you've reached now are grand? Wait till you get to the top. The views will be magnificent.

Don't give up. It's all going to be worth it in the end. Keep climbing.

God bless.

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