Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire is not for the faint of heart or the occasional Sunday stroller. I’m usually up for an adventure, and it was a gorgeous day, so we struck out with the kids and some friends and headed up the mountain. The boys did great until we were about ¼ of the way up the first peak when they began to complain. “How much further?” “Are we there yet?” “My legs hurt.” Now I said the first peak because it is a double summit mountain. Once you get to what you believe to be the top, you realize the trail keeps going, and there’s another peak hiding behind the first. At this point, I’m mentally siding with the boys. I didn’t own hiking boots, and my sneakers were done sneakin’. I thought I was in pretty good fitness shape until the muscles in my ankles began to hurt from adjusting to the uneven ground.
My husband being the optimist said, “Look, we’re almost to the top.” We kept moving. Part of me wanted to turn around. We’d been hiking for over a couple hours, and we still had to go all the way back down. I wanted to protest or complain, but I didn’t want to ruin the trip for our friends or allow the boys to see mom give up.
At last, we reached the top, I remember ignoring the aches and pushing my legs up the final steep climb. It opened onto a rocky plateau. I stopped to catch my breath. Not because I was winded, but because the view was so spectacular. From the peak, an endless patterned carpet filled with greens, yellows, oranges, and reds spread out before us. A vast expanse of clear blue stretched above us, and when we looked east, we could see a cluster of tiny rectangular sticks that comprised of the city of Boston.
One of our boys stared wide-eyed and said, “Wow! Look at how great God is.” That made the entire trek for me. The hard climb, the achy muscles, the pure exhaustion, all forgotten as we gazed out at the splendor before us.
The harder the hike, the better the view.
For ten years we used to run a small group at our house weekly. (Now that I’m wiser we’ve learned to rotate houses.) There were days where I’d come home from work exhausted. The kids would be at each other, and I still hadn’t fed them dinner or set out food and chairs for our small group. I would rub my temples with one hand and hold my phone with the other ready push send on an email to cancel the group for the night.
But, thank God, I didn’t hit send.
Those nights we’d have the most incredible group, filled with breakthroughs, people opening their hearts, and Godly revelations. This happened at least a couple nights a semester, and every time it would be a remarkable experience.
There is evil out there that wants to keep us from experiencing God’s joy. It will attack us in big and small ways, but don’t relent. Keep pushing through. There is something spectacular for you to see but the devil is doing his darnedest to block your way.
If you’re exhausted and spent, uncertain whether you can keep going, you may be steps away from a breakthrough. Let the devil know you’re onto his trick, and you’re not backing down. You’re going to keep hiking because God has planned an amazing view for you right over the next peak.
“God is my strong fortress, and he makes my way perfect.” – 2 Samuel 22:33 (NLT)
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