The Hard Things

It gets harder every day.  Climbing this mountain. Out of breath, weak and exhausted. And I wonder out loud, ” does this mean we’re going the right direction? Because it’s so hard? Or does this mean we give up, turn around and go back from where we came?”

Mt.Everest climbers are a burly bunch.  Well, they have to be, right? How does one relish the thought of looking at the face of the tallest, harshest peak on the planet and not run scared the other way, never to turn back?  How do they stare it down and force their feet one step further?  Slap on the oxygen tank? Ready the gear, engage the safety harness and press forward~ I’d be white with fear before I ever was white with frostbite.

Preparation is key.  No one just wakes up one day and decides they’re going to climb a mountain. Any mountain…least of all the tallest peak.  No, you will spend months and years preparing your body, your gear and your mind.  You will study and learn and practice and ……….fail.  You will fail before you succeed.  You might fall, break a leg, lose some confidence, lose your mind, get frustrated, lose money….fail.  Failure is a part of the journey.  Without failure on the small mountains, you won’t have  a hope on the large ones.   Failure is the catalyst to success.  Failure is that unseen, unheard friend that will show you where you are weakest.  Failure will point out the flaws in your plans and in your gear.  Failure will get you off your high horse and onto solid ground.


The thing about failure is that it’s hard.  And it’s painful.  And it’s humbling.

I am humbled by the fact that we weren’t prepared, we didn’t know some things that we should have known and we didn’t learn from past mistakes. Humility and weakness are friends too.  They force you to your knees.

I have learned , through all of the hard things, that I still have my faith. I still believe.

As the Sherpa-guide leads the climber up Everest,  so too does God lead us up our mountain.  He’s the one with the extra oxygen tank and the heated tent for rest.  He’s the guy who holds us up when we’re about ready to fall.  He’s the one with the answers and the way out, even though it’s too cloudy and stormy for us to see.

He’s the Guide and He knows this mountain because He’s been here a thousand times before.  He’s not scared of what’s ahead because He’s already been there.

I don’t really understand mountain climbers and their zest for the dangerous climb.  I can’t relate to the risk factors that they knowingly walk into daily.  But I can appreciate all of the years of preparation they take to make that ONE mountain top their victory summit.

I’m not enjoying the climb.  I have wanted to turn back many times. I’m almost ready to give up.

Abraham never gave up, even though he never did see the promised land.  He never gave up on believing that God would provide him with an heir, even though he was old with age.

David, when he was just  a boy, took on an entire army when he could have packed his bags and went home.

Ruth and Esther, Daniel and Noah, Paul and Timothy………they all had every reason to give up, give in, walk away……

But they did the HARDEST things in the shadow of the loneliest valleys… because they believed.

I still believe and I’m still climbing. Until the day I die and someone pulls me off this mountain, I will keep going.


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