One beautiful Colorado summer day I set out to climb a mountain. A 14,000 ft mountain. The sky was a stunning blue with scattered clouds. The flowers were in full bloom of yellows, blues and whites as if it were spring, and really August is spring at 14,000ft. I was greeted by mountain goats, 11 in all, most still shedding their winter coats. The trail went up and up and when I thought I could see the top I pushed on and reached it and there was another one. I began this ascent at 11,200 and climbed to the top of Quandary peak, 14,265 in seven hours and eight miles round trip. Every step was up. I expected that there would be short downhills where I could regain my breath. Nope. I expected some flat spots to rest my weary muscles. But no, it just went up.
As I climbed I began to think about my life. I have had trial after trial. Within two and one-half years I buried three of my four children. Two died in a motor cycle accident and my youngest son took his own life. The mountain of life I was climbing became steep and rocky, and the world went from color to black and white. It was more than I could handle. (2 Cor 1:7-8) I learned that when I am weak, God is strong. (1 Cor 4:10 ) God knew that I did not need the mountain removed; I needed the strength to climb it and he gave me that strength.
Do you feel like you are climbing a mountain? Maybe it is a mountain of bills or laundry. Maybe it is a mountain of illness or family trials. We do not gain strength when the going is easy. We do not grow when there is nothing to push against. God strengthens us when we have an uphill battle, when we are pushing against the flow. When we are facing a mountain that we know we don’t have the strength to climb we learn to rely on God, not to take the mountain away but to give us the strength to climb.
When life gets tough and the climb is more than you can handle don’t ask God to take the mountain away. Ask Him to give you the strength not to just climb it but to summit.