The other day I took my boys out for a walk. It was supposed to be super hot and I thought I should get them outside for a while in the morning while it was still bearable. I was pushing Benaiah in our double stroller and Bez was riding his bike. I quickly learned that I would have had to have them up and out around six that morning to beat the heat and humidity. We were only about a block down the road before I was a sweaty mess and tried to bribe Bez back to the house with the promise of a popsicle and as much iPad time as he wanted. He would have none of it and we trudged on. We came up to a large (at least large to an out of shape North Dakotan mama) hill and I started to turn the other direction, but Bez said “mom, we need to go up this mountain”. I knew it was probably too difficult for him to ride up on his bike, but I didn’t want to discourage him and off we went. As the road got steeper he was getting tired and would pause to ask me for help. I would give him a small push on his back and he would pedal a few more feet before pausing again to ask for help. I’m pretty sure anyone who saw us just went ahead and assumed the circus was in town cause I know I probably looked crazy…with one hand I was pushing a clunky double stroller with one kid in it and with the other I was pushing another kid on his bike…all the while sweating bullets and panting like I’d just run a marathon. It took us a while, but we got to the top. He was thrilled and so proud, but could not have done it without the extra nudges I gave him.
I was struck realizing that this little moment I had with my boy parallels what God does for us day after day in two different ways. He will allow us to face mountains in our lives, but will always be there with us to give us the strength to reach the top. It is my natural tendency to try to avoid the “mountains”. I don’t enjoy pain and suffering. I don’t enjoy stress or disappointment. Why would I willingly climb a mountain when the easy path is a simple left turn? But life rarely sticks to the easy path and I feel Him say “we need to go up this mountain”.
We don’t climb the mountain because we want to, but because He is with us, because we know that He will always get us to the top. Rarely do we even understand why we are climbing it, why we couldn’t have turned and taken the easy way. Somehow we will look back at the path we’ve just taken and know that He was with us all along. When we were climbing and got too tired to go on, He was there to give us the nudge we needed to take a few more steps.
God is so good. To me, to you, to anyone who is willing to see His goodness and grab on to it. When grief hits like a wave and I feel like I’ve taken a punch straight to the stomach, He is there to hold me up and help me catch my breath again. When the day is too daunting to get out of bed, He gives the strength to put our feet on the floor and accomplish what needs to get done. When there is more month than money, He will supply for our needs. When health problems are overwhelming, He gives us the strength we need to face them. When people and relationships disappoint, He is near to us and heals our hearts. There is no mountain He is not at the foot of. No mountain He hasn’t seen the top of. No mountain He isn’t willing to climb with us.
We need to go up this mountain.