Mountain Top

(courtesy of morguefile.com)

We all like to get to the  top of the mountain. We love the exhiliration of reaching the goal, feeling the refreshing wind on our face and knowing we are “there”! 

But it’s easy to forget about the climb that came before we reached the peak.

If you’ve followed my blog at all, you know that my family and I have been hiking quite a bit this year. Most of the hikes have been in the mountains of NC and TN. Some hikes were easy, no effort needed. Some were hard, but worth the trip. Then there were the hikes that left me breathless and almost positive I was going to die right there on the side of the mountain.

Life is like that, too.

There are paths we take that are easy. Not much effort required. We just plod along taking in the scenery and keeping our distance from anything that seems to be too consuming.

There are paths that are hard. They make us think. They require our concentration more than usual. The paths are not as neat as we’d like – but we still make it to the end of the journey with all our brain-cells intact.

And then…there are the paths we take that leave us wondering if we’ll make it out alive.

Those are the paths that can take us higher and draw us closer to where we need to be…or can bury us in our tracks.

And the way I see things, the outcome all depends on who we have with us on our journey.

When my hubby and I hiked Linville Gorge, I thought I was going to have to spend the night in the gorge and wait for a helicopter to come scoop me out. Really, I crumpled in a heap and wept. Then, in a fit of self-pity, I said to my hubby, “Go ahead – I’ll catch up. I just have to rest for a while.”

Did he go on without me?

Nope.

Matter of fact, I think he was a little insulted that I even suggest it. “Are you crazy?” he asked. “You don’t EVER leave your hiking partner. Period. So you can just get that out of your mind.” Then he waited for me, encouraged me and helped me up.

See where I’m going with this?

God has said, “I will NEVER leave you NOR forsake you.”

If God is our hiking guide AND hiking partner on this journey of life, then we KNOW He’ll never leave us behind. He doesn’t grow tired and give up on us. He doesn’t leave us on the trail to rot in our misery. He lifts us up and carries us.

Looking back, I can honestly say I was ecstatic when Sean and I finally climbed out of Linville Gorge. Granted, I was a little too tired to do a backflip, but I could BREATHE again! But as happy as that moment was, I don’t ever want to forget how hard the climb was. If I do, I’ll also forget the lovingkindness I was shown by my hubby during the struggle.

And if I forget the struggles and hard climbs in other parts of my life, I’ll forget the lovingkindness shown by my faithful Father.

Have you had any climbs that were just as memorable as the mountaintop? If so, I’d love to hear about them. If you are struggling up a mountain right now, I pray your journey is a fruitful one. And when you reach the top, I pray you remember the blessings you received along the way!

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12 thoughts on “Mountain Top

  1. Donna, I’ve missed you, but wow! what a great post. Very life affirming of our struggles and of our Lord’s love and steadfastness.

    Well, it’s been a difficult year healthwise for me (I get debilitating migraines), but I’m on the mend, but so often it is at my weakest that I’ve found relief in my rosary beads (it’s like holding Mary’s hand), because all that I am capable of is prayer. Not even a regular prayer, but just: Have mercy. Or sometimes, a sigh.

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    1. Hi Vijaya! I understand about migraines. They are horrible things to deal with. I’m gald you shared this with me so we can pray about it together!

      I understand the “Have Mercy” prayer, too. The Lord has heard it from me numerous times, too!
      I’m so glad we’re friends – I really hope we can meet in person one day!

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  2. Hi Donna,
    I traveled to the mountain top when my husband had cancer and recovered. Co-workers donated leave time, prayer groups prayed in different states, peace filled my being even when chemo took his strength. It was so glorious to have God helping him climb those mountains. We are a stronger couple and have a stronger faith due to it all. Praise the Lord for his presence and for bringing my husband through.

    I’m glad your hubby chose to do the mountain top experience with you instead of alone. That’s true love and devotion. What a blessing!

    Vijaya, I’ll pray for your good health and freedom from migraines.

    Linda A.

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  3. Most of the time this journey IS an uphill climb isn’t it? Gets pretty steep, too. What a comfort to know our Good Shepherd and Guide never leaves us behind. NEVER.

    Jean

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  4. What a great illustration, Donna. So thankful for a Father who never leaves us or forsakes us… And kudos to your hubby for sticking with you and encouraging you when the going got tough. Love how he gave you a lesson in never leaving your hiking partner, too 🙂

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  5. Wow! I really needed to hear this. I’ve been going through one of the roughest hikes of my life lately (maybe the hardest) and just needed to be reminded of how God is with me no matter how steep. I’m basically a wimp and don’t like the climb God is making me take. It’s comforting to hear of your “physical” struggle as I “spiritually” struggle in the very same way! Thanks!

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