How’s Your Mountain Climbing?

by Lawngren

Rich people may reach mountaintops by helicopter. Cautious or beginning climbers may go as part of a team, with professional guides and maybe a team of Sherpas to carry their gear. Poor, or experienced and confident climbers, may go solo or with a buddy, carrying all the gear they (hope they) will need, such as pitons, belaying ropes, collapsible tents, inflatable yaks, cognac, oxygen masks, rescue flares, and pictures of their families. 😉

Idiots “free-climb”, with nothing but their hands, feet, fingers and toes, and super-human strength and endurance between them and a gruesome death.

Whatever, we’re all climbing this mountain called Life. We all fit into the equivalent of one of the categories above. Over the course of a lifetime, we fit into several.

Some of us are so dog-tired we have to take frequent breathers, and our “muscles” ache, and breathing comes hard, and we don’t seem to have made much progress, and we really would rather not go on. That’s my personal category, and has been for about two decades now. Those with similar feelings are the ones for whom I’m writing this, but don’t despair! Even if you’re passing through a beautiful mountain meadow full of flowers on a gentle slope right now, in the blink of an eye you too can become a gasping, sagging wreck, clinging to a bare rock face by torn and bleeding fingernails. So pay attention, huh?

Obviously it’s so much easier to helicopter to the top, and the view is the same. But we don’t all have that option. For those of us who look forward to each day about as much as we’d look forward to a root canal, here are some thoughts that apply only to believers in Jesus. They may help you drag your weary body upward for a few more days. And a few more after that, and after that, and one day or one hour or ten minutes at a time, depending on how much you’re hurting at any given time. There is an end to the weariness. There is victory. There is reward for those who don’t quit. But it probably will not come in this life.

“Jehovah jirei” – this is a phrase from the Old Testament of the Bible, and it means “Jehovah will see.” The New Testament expresses similar encouragement:

Watch! I am coming quickly, and My reward is in My hand, to give every man according to his works.” Jesus promised this, and He does not lie.

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.

God is with Christians, even when we aren’t aware of His presence. In tears, in bitter grief, in disability, in vicious pain, in futility, in bankruptcy, in jail … He is with us. He feels what we feel. He does not shield Himself from our pain or fear. And He gives us support and wisdom and comfort when we need it most. He may not turn us into a champion fingers-and-toes bare-rock-climbing maniac, but He does answer when we call, and He applauds one inch of progress that cost us our last strength, as much as easy miles that stronger climbers stride through smiling. God grades on the curve:

Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, ‘Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.’ ” (Luke 21:1-4)

So when you look back at your path, and you see you’re only about a foot higher than you were yesterday, don’t think less of yourself, if that foot of altitude cost you the skin off both arms to the elbows and a prize crop of large bruises. God knows what it cost you, and He is not angry with you for accomplishing so little.

I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.” (Revelation 3:8-10)

For keeping the word of Jesus and not denying His name, you will be given personal recognition from King Jesus Himself in front of those who now scorn you and insult you, and they will be forced to acknowledge the truth: that God loves you.

But you still have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.” (Revelation 3:4-5)

And what does it take to be victorious? Becoming known as a great philanthropist? Being a missionary, or a popular preacher? Being listed in Who’s Who?


This is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith! Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” (1st John 5:4-5)

You can’t pay your bills? When your name is mentioned, everyone except your next of kin says, “Who?” You have a past before you became a Christian that would shame a junkyard dog? You can’t speel – I mean, spell – and your math is worse than the government’s?

So let me ask you one last question: do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God? Not just in your mind. Do you believe, and therefore live according to what He taught?

If the answer is yes, the other stuff doesn’t matter! Hurrah! Because according to King Jesus, You. Are. Victorious. Over. The. World. For verification and amplification, I turn you over to the Word of God, written “by holy men of God” who “spoke as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit”. Remember that the apostle Paul, who was “carried along” as he wrote this, was no stranger to suffering. (You’ll find his credentials in that regard in 2nd Corinthians 11:23-28. It’s painful to read.)

In Romans chapter 8, Paul wrote:

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved … Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,

‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

It may not be a pretty picture. There are frightening things in that passage, and the worst events to come are not even mentioned. But –

When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long.
And you think that love is only
For the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed that with the sun’s love
In the spring becomes the rose.”

That is a beautiful promise that hundreds of millions of people have never heard or experienced. But it is a REALITY! Praise God! for those who have the faith in King Jesus which ultimately overcomes the world, and until “ultimately” comes, makes us able to keep on climbing.

God be with you till we meet again,
By His counsels guide, uphold you,
With His sheep securely fold you,
God be with you till we meet again.

Till we meet, till we meet,
Till we meet at Jesus’ feet;
Till we meet, till we meet,
God be with you till we meet again.

God be with you till we meet again,
When life’s perils thick confound you,
Put His arms unfailing round you,
God be with you till we meet again.

God be with you till we meet again,
Keep love’s banner floating o’er you,
Smite death’s threat’ning wave before you,
God be with you till we meet again.

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