A couple of months ago I was visiting a neighbouring island where I was dependent on a local person for transportation. As I wasn’t the only delegate this person was responsible for, I decided to ease their burden of returning to get me from an appointment one day, by walking back to the compound where I was based.
Twice daily I would drive this route and so I felt pretty confident that I could get myself back within a decent time frame.
But when I set out that midmorning to walk up that hill, with the noonday sun beating down on me, I was in for a rude awakening.
While the path was broad, its level of steepness was very deceiving. I wasn’t long on the incline when I began to feel the “burn”.
Still I pressed on, uncomfortable but confident in my abilities.
I wasn’t halfway up when I began to reconsider my plan and question my options. For one, the climb was a lot longer than it had appeared from the bus. And my lack of fitness was very evident.
I felt faint; I thought I would pass out; I was sweating profusely and my head hurt; I was convinced that my heart would explode in my chest as it fought to keep up with the unusual demands I was placing on my body.
I considered walking back down the hill and crossing the road to get a bus.
But by then I was already halfway up. And deep inside I still felt like I could get the upper hand on this mountain. But not on my own.
I began to pray, “Lord, do not let me die here on the side of this mountain today!”
“Please, let me make it to the top,” I repeated as I wearily placed one foot in front of the other and continued my ascent.
A couple of times I stood still for a few seconds to catch my breath. But I kept plodding on.
Part of me was secretly fearful that if I was to collapse right there on the side of the mountain, that my hosts wouldn’t be able to find me and thus return my lifeless body to my family.
Isn’t it just like that in life? Some times we face unexpected challenges; we began thinking it was going to be like A and it turned out to be more like B.
Other times are so confident in our abilities that we forgot to rely on God; until things get too rough and we realize we actually can’t do it on our own.
Then while we are down, we are bombarded with all sorts of irrational thoughts that threaten to topple us, and sometimes we are ready to give up.
But I have wonderful news for you today.
God got me to the top of the mountain that day, and He will do the same for you.
You may be tempted to give up in view of whatever mountain you may be facing.
You may have tried in your own strength and realized that it is not enough.
Now is the time to put your trust in Him.
What have you got to lose?