Have you ever hiked up a mountain? The summer before my senior year of high school I went to a Young Life camp in Colorado. It was just outside of Buena Vista, Colorado and the mountains were beautiful.
One of the events scheduled was a climb to the top of one of the mountains. The climb started off really easy. The path was clear and flat and wide. We traveled in packs of 5 or 6 friends, one group following the other. It was hot at the bottom, but we were told to be prepared because the climate would change throughout the hike.
As we got closer to the top, the path got more and more narrow. We couldn’t travel more than two by two. At one point, we came to a glacier. I couldn’t believe it. It was huge and beautiful, but also very dangerous. The path became very narrow. We had to walk one behind the other. Even though we couldn’t walk side by side, we supported one another by holding hands in case someone slipped. We didn’t want to lose anyone, so we stayed connected.
Once we crossed the glacier, we had a steep climb to the top. It was really hard for some of the group. Several tried to quit, but others encouraged them to continue, cheering them along the way.
When we finally reached the top, it was magnificent. What was before me rendered me speechless (which many of you know is a rare occasion). I looked out and saw before me a huge cross made out of two tree trunks. Burned into the cross were the words from Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know I am God.” Behind the cross were snow capped mountains for as far as I could see. The magnitude of it astounded me. God created it all. The journey to get there was long and hard, but it had been worth it.
In life, the path is sometimes easy and we walk it with a crowd. There are also times we face rugged terrain and even have to go it alone. The trick is to always stay connected to the Body of Christ, so if we begin to slip, they keep us from falling [Ecclesiastes 4:9]. The Lord also promises to keep us from falling if we will cast our cares upon Him [Psalm 91:11-12, 1 Peter 5:7].
The journey the Lord takes us on will not always be easy, but one thing I can promise you…when you reach your final destination, you will say it was worth the climb. As you begin your journey into 2010, take time each day to prepare for the leg of the journey you are facing. Stay connected to those who are on the path with you, encouraging them along the way, and leaning on them when necessary. Trust in your leader. He will keep you safe. Now get ready. There’s much territory to conquer.