Climbing a mountain was never on my bucket list.
It wasn’t even on my radar.
“It will be fun!!! Come on!!! Get out of bed!!!” they said.
“Look you can see other hikers on the trail.” they told me. That did not encourage me. It took me a few minutes, but I gathered up my courage and started up the trail. It was then I looked up and I could see what looked to be ants moving on the mountain. That’s when doubt and I hit head on and suddenly we were in agreement, “NO WAY is that going to be me?!?! I’ll never be where they are!” I was too proud to tell the guys that I did not think I could make it up that side of the mountain. I decided to smile and nod. I shot a fake smile and squeaked through my clinched teeth, “Wow. That seems so far away. How exciting!”
Before I knew it, I was officially walking up the side of the mountain.
That’s how it’s done, people.
On the mountain you have a lot of time to think—and talk to yourself.
It was in the pauses that I realized the mini steps I’d been making for over an hour had accumulated beneath me and I was actually going somewhere.
I was higher.
I was farther.
I realized I was doing what I had set out to do and it felt good! Of course, it would feel better if I was done. Because it was already harder than I thought it might be, but taking a moment to look back at where I’d come from was just what I needed to turn around again and get back to it.
We were climbing a mountain that was linked with other mountains, and after nearly two hours we came upon this particular spot on our journey. It was the most incredible, beautiful spot we’d encountered up to that point. As we walked up to ridge, it was as if the horizon appeared out of nowhere. The wind was strong, but the clouds seemed reachable. I remember at the beginning seeing “ants” up here! NOW I was an ant to someone else!
My legs were a bit weary and my mind said, “Isn’t this view good enough? You could be satisfied with this height, couldn’t you?!?!” I knew I must keep going. And not just for his sake, but the higher I went, the more I wanted to continue. The beauty of God’s creation was before me and I couldn’t unsee this—and I didn’t want to. There was pain in this journey, but the beauty of the journey was becoming a prize worth knowing personally.
We moved onward and upward and there were more rocks. The incline at times left me baby-stepping my way up the mountain. The guys that I was with kept on encouraging me, “Keep moving… keep going… you can do it!”
Slowly and surely I put one step in front of the other.
And that’s when I stepped foot on the summit. The sky opened up to a 360 degree view. My eyes could not even take it all in. It was too beautiful for words—too glorious to capture in a sentence. It’s like trying to describe the hands of your newborn—and you realize the only thing that comes out is “Wow, look… You have to see his hands!” You can’t describe the beauty; all you can do is invite others into the splendor you are part of.
That’s when you know you are witnessing the fingerprints of God. His marvels cannot be explained with mere language, or captured in a song, or displayed through even the most beautiful of art.
We try, and it’s okay to try, but we’ll always fall short. God’s glory leaves one speechless.
I guess that’s how I feel about my journey with the Lord.
It feels like climbing a mountain some days. It feels like the journey is unreasonably long and too steep. There’s too many rocks and the obstacles in my way leave me wondering, “Why does it have to be this hard?”
Internally I wrestle with the risks, the suffering I’m enduring, the uncomfortability of the climb—and at times, I almost talk myself into retreating and quitting all together. But it’s in those moments that the Lord calls me to rest and reflect. He gives me a moment to catch my breath and turn around and see the progress I had made.
There are times in my life that I’ve looked back and been disappointed, feeling like I should be further along by now! And other times I’m surprised that I’ve even made it this far—recognizing the grace and sovereign hand of God that has brought me to this point.
There are moments when you think, “This is good enough. I could be satisfied enough with this view and head back.” But then you hear the encouragers, your spiritual cheerleaders, say, “But there’s more. You’ve come this far! Let’s keep going.” And so you keep moving on. You press onward and upward, wondering why you can’t be the one satisfied with the couch, but the truth is, you’re not. You’re not made for ease or settling.
So you put one foot in front of the other.
You obey His voice.
You trust Him.
You place your hope in His promises.
You ask Him for the strength.
And then you continue to put one foot in front of the other.
And then something beautiful happens—you reach the mountain’s peak. And that’s when you see the journey was not in vain. You see the beauty is that much more spectacular than you dared to dream. You realize there was purpose and beauty even in the pain. You know you can’t unsee this and you would never want to. Being in relationship with the God of the universe changes you. So much so, you want to tell others, but sometimes the only thing that comes out is, “I wish I could describe how much He loves you, but I just can’t. I wish I could put into words how great the climb really is, but my words aren’t enough. But… you are invited… invited to know for yourself—to see Him for yourself. Climb the mountain—He’ll never leave your side and you won’t be disappointed.”
But it isn’t reaching the summit that makes your experience great…
It’s the climb.
God has a mountain for you to climb. It’s there just in front of you. All you need to do is put one foot in front of the other and He will lead to where He wants you go. You’ll see things you never thought you would and you’ll find satisfaction you never thought was possible.
Climb your mountain. He’s waiting there just for you.