My brother and I couldn’t agree on anything, and I’m sure it drove my parents crazy.
Gary liked jello and hated pudding. I loved pudding and hated jello. He wanted to play tag with his friends, I wanted to be left alone t0 read my book.
We couldn’t even agree when we all went biking together.
I loved the downhills – the speed, the coasting, the feeling of being vaguely out of control. The downhills scared Gary so much he cried whenever he saw one coming. He was afraid of going too fast, of losing his balance and falling.
The uphills were what made me miserable. I hated the plodding, the panting. My legs hurt and it just wasn’t fun. I just wanted to stop. My brother loved the climb. He felt safe, in control, and enjoyed the hard work.
God takes us through many hills in our walks of faith, too. There are times when God calls us to take a colossal leap and just trust Him through the jump. There are other times we need to trudge upward, not seeing clearly where we are going. It takes endurance. It’s difficult in a whole different way.
The leaps of faith still come more easily to me. I love jumping into something new and watching how God catches me. The uphill, stamina climbs of faith are what I still struggle with, and if course, are what God is working out in me now.
Gary recently moved to Washington state, and I had the chance to visit him this fall. He couldn’t wait to take us on a hike he had heard about. As we stood at the base of the mountain and I felt a little intimidated. Gary did always like the uphill climbs. He noticed my apprehension and kept assuring me that it wasn’t as bad as it looked. As we hiked we passed a few mountain goats scaling the cliff. They certainly made the uphill look easy.
Later we passed a sign that read: “Mountain Goats are Meant for High Places”. It talked about how the goats’ hooves are specifically designed to close in tight to help them walk in small spaces but also spread out wide to help them break quickly if necessary. The cliffs are high, but mountain goats are designed to climb them.
I couldn’t help but think of Habakkuk 3:19:
“The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.”
God has designed us to be meant for high places, too. God wants us to rise toward Him. The mountains in our life may seem intimidating, but God has equipped us with everything we need to climb them.
“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with every good thing to do His will. And may He accomplish in us what is pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” – Hebrews 13:20-21