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Stronger than the Mountain.

I squinted at step number three hundred, wavering before me. Staking my right foot in place, I gripped the rail and heaved myself onward. My lungs strained to draw themselves full, but drank the air as if sucking ocean water through a straw to quench a thirst.
I clutched my swimming head and leaned against the railing. “The air is too thin. It’s not so much that I’m tired, but dizzy.”
Tongue lolling out of the side of my gape, I crossed my eyes to make light of my weakness.
“We’re here. We have to go all the way to the top.” My husband and oldest son concurred, ready to press onward.
A midday haze cloaked the neighboring peaks. The staircase wound upward for several flights before leafy canopies obscured its pinnacle.
A grinning hiker descended past us.
“Is it much further?” I asked.
“You can do it. It’s well worth the journey,” the hiker said.
We passed several such returning, all with smiles and the same assurance of value.
Despite concerns about fainting, I pressed on.
Each time we thought only one more flight remained, another stretch of mountainside appeared on the trail ahead. The further we hiked, the less sense it made to relent.
When we shared the majestic view with several other families, my previous thoughts of quitting made me aware of how weak I am. The sense of victory in achieving this heavenly pinnacle drenched my soul and revitalized my breath.
We descended with beaming expressions, eager to encourage others to press on for a worthwhile destination.

How like the journey of God’s purpose in our lives? I often grow weary, aware of my human weaknesses. He never shows me the entire path, full aware that I might be tempted to quit if I knew how high He would ask me to climb. He gives me enough breath for each step, enough strength for one more flight. And I struggle to press on.
Scripture and fellow believers offer encouragement that keeps me going. Oh, how precious are their assurances!
I long for the splendor of purpose-fulfilled views. Even more so, I am eager to be the grinning hiker to coach others toward the peaks.

Thank the Lord, O my soul, that in my weakness He is stronger than the mountains.

Will you take one more step up with me today? What does your next flight lead you to? Perhaps we can encourage one another onward and upward.

Brilliant Focus.

Receding clouds clear distractions from my mind, and I reflect on those beloved sunset walks before this spell of rain. I miss the refreshing strolls, but must admit I wasted some.
Staring into my own shadow, I monitored my feet and two rectangles of concrete ahead of them. Fretful thoughts scrolled behind my eyes–what has been, should have, or must be done. Whys and whethers flutter like bats near my inner ear.
I must strain to hear my Walking Partner’s solution, Look up.
Had He not whispered, I might have forgotten He accompanied me on the path.
When I turn my gaze upward, away from my steps toward the glorious sun, light cascades through my soul. Joy splashes over me in ribbons of gold and crimson. Winged worshippers choreograph an aerial masterpiece. Pine mingles with night jasmine to tickle my soul. Oh, the serenity and beauty of a walk focused on Adonai. Why should I waste a step in the drear of self-centeredness when Love Himself walks alongside me?
Perhaps the sun will set in a clear sky tomorrow, and I can look forward to joining my Love on the stroll of abundant life.
Glory to God alone.

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