Direct my footsteps according to your word;”
Psalm 119:133 (NIV)
Recently I was in the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire. And while I’m no spring chicken and not in the best shape these days, I just couldn’t resist the challenge to hike and climb mountains, and this trip was no different. Even some extra weight and bad knees couldn’t stop me. Not that I climbed any of the presidential mountains that are located here, (most are about 4,000 feet high), but I did a couple of small climbs.
The first mountain was a challenge; I kept stopping to look ahead to what was coming and, as I panted to catch my breath, the path revealed itself to be more and more difficult with unending steep climbs. I started to doubt my decision to hike this particular mountain, and I almost turned back. While I attained the summit with a breathtaking view before me, I didn’t feel like I had climbed well.
The second mountain was also challenging but as I started climbing that second mountain, I heard the Holy Spirit speaking in that familiar still, small voice, “Don’t look too far ahead my child. Climb slowly and steadily, taking only the step which is before you. Trust you Heavenly Father with each step and you will achieve the climb I have in mind for you!” The climb wasn’t any easier than the one I had taken the day before, but my heart had changed. I had listened to what I heard from God and I made the conscious decision to NOT look too far ahead; I took my time, and kept a careful pace, placing each foot step deliberately until I reached the top! Not only was I elated by a spectacular view, but I had climbed well with only a couple of stops!
Life can be a lot like a mountain climb at times. We climb big mountains: a spouse admits to watching porn; drugs are found in a child’s dresser drawer; the phone rings and it’s a message that a beloved family member has died. We climb smaller mountains: balancing ministry and family; keeping up with the housework and our children’s activity schedules; deciding which bills will get paid and which will have to wait. Each event is a mountain. Mountains can require really steep climbs or slow steady climbs. Climbs where we feel we will never stop panting and catch our breaths. Climbs when it seems as though our heart is going to burst from our chests!
No matter what size mountain we may be climbing today, let’s surrender to our Jesus’ guidance of our footsteps. Don’t look too far ahead. Trust Jesus to place our foot with each step we take. Yes, we will be weary and winded at times, and maybe we will want to give up. But trust we will climb our mountains with Jesus guiding our footsteps.