Friday, December 3, 2010

Up the Mountain

This hill, though high, I covet to ascend;
The difficulty will not me offend.
For I perceive the way to life lies here.
Come, pluck up, heart; let's neither faint nor fear.
Better, though difficult, the right way to go,
Than wrong, though easy, where the end is woe.

(John Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress)

My spiritual climb has seen both painful struggles and leaps of faith, but whatever it took, I now discover my feet have landed on a new plateau. Like Dorothy opening the door to Oz, I am awestruck, intrigued and eager to explore.

A spiritual plateau is an opportunty not to be taken lightly. The climb has taught me to rely on God's direction and each new height provides me a new perspective from which to see things through His eyes. Looking back on the ravines I somehow avoided I now see how deep and dangerous they really were, and how impressive God's careful and powerful guidance.

The broken paths I've been traveling now seem to have smoothed out considerably. Sunshine lights up the view so I can see more clearly the wisdom and protection of God, my Guide.

I stop to collect treasures from this new plateau: a greater clarity of purpose, deeper faith in His Word, a wider comprehension of the scope of truth, and a richer enthusiasm for my faith-walk. There's less "me" here, more of "Him".

It's time to move on. As the old hymn states, "My heart has no desire to stay where doubts arise and fears dismay."

My steps once again are unsure and my vision for the future is hazy. The pathway has grown steep, rocky and dark. Apprehension is to be expected, but experience has taught me that there is a God who sees me and a God who is able. He has brought me this far by faith and He will not fail me.

I am learning to hesitate less when my Guide says "Come" and to worry over my wounds less when I get scraped and bruised. Insights to new weaknesses and strengths have opened up. A new awareness of God's presence, power and love awakens the desire for more time spent with Him.

I'm getting better at dodging the avalanches, great and small, sent by Satan. My weary steps will stumble and, believe me, I do a lot of slipping and falling down. But it's okay that I slip up and skin my knees. God's patient mercy is making a difference. His grace is sufficient, just like He promised.

I can't see the top of the mountain from here, but as I climb, my faith has caught the joyful song of saints on higher ground. Their heavenly music pulls me, soothes me, encourages me, thrills me. I can hear my Saviour calling and I'll go with Him all the way.

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