Worth the Climb

We had this really steep hill that lead out to the main entrance of our old neighborhood. One afternoon I decided Joshua and I needed to conquer it by riding our bikes to the top.

As I peddled up the huge incline in 1st gear, I wondered why in the world I volunteered to do it! My calves were burning so bad as I spun my feet in circles, moving those pedals so fast while barely moving the tires at all. I felt like I was on a stationary bike!

As I struggled up the long hill, I tried to inspire myself by chanting this little rhyme, “Going up is a killer, but coming down will be a thriller!” Somehow focusing on the promise of coming down, helped me endure the pain of getting up.

Finally we made it to the top, caught our breath for a minute and then rode down the hill with with the wind in our faces and our feet in the air.

When we got to the bottom Joshua immediately shouted, “Hey, let’s do that again!”

“Forget it!” I thought. I wanted to ride on level ground, where only moderate effort would be required at least for a little while.

Do you ever feel like life’s mountains are gonna kill you? Does the climbing ever get so hard that you want to quit and coast for a while?

Me, too. I think God brought this story to mind today to help me climb some “steep hills” ahead of me. Maybe you are facing some, too.

Life is always full of challenges for each of us. Whether it’s our finances and getting out of debt or cutting way back on expenses. Or going to a friend and being honest about some hard things. Or setting aside extra time to spend with our kids who need more attention that we’ve been giving. Maybe it’s a tough situation at the office or in our marriage that requires the hard work of forgiveness.

Just last week I was climbing a “mountain” with one of my kids and it was breaking my heart. They had done something I clearly asked them not to do, and deceitfulness was exposed.

I needed God’s perspective. I needed a promise. So I started praying for one, and God provided. Just like the little rhyme I chanted while riding the bike up that hill, I started saying God’s words to myself out loud again and again throughout my day.

His promise gave me hope as I let it become a part of my thinking – engraved on my heart and in my thoughts – cheering me on and reminding me that this hill would be worth the climb and eventually I would see rewards on the other side.

I know that sometimes we don’t get to see the rewards on this side of Heaven or enjoy a coast downhill in certain struggles, but many times we do if we look. I sometimes just need to ask God to show me the blessings in obedience, the rewards that make our mountains worth the climb.

So, are you climbing or coasting this week? Is there a promise you’re clinging to?

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4
About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. “I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me”

    Philippians 4:13
    Ouch, I can feel the burn in my legs as you speak. The burn in my heart for my kids as well. When my parents use to say “this hurts me more than you”, I laughed, yeah right. It rings so true as a parent.
    I am clinging to Philippians 4:13. Knowing there isn’t a mountain too high or a valley too low (sounds like the middle of a song)that God can’t keep me from or get me out of.
    What I am learning is the first time I have to face that tall mountain or low valley and I conquer it with God’s help, the next time gets a bit easier.

    It never hurts to toss out a rope to a friend in need either. 🙂
    Blessings,
    Diane

  2. Still climbing…and unfortunately…can’t see the top of the mountain yet, so no rest in sight.

    Deut. 33:25, “…as thy days, so shall thy strength be.”

    Psalm 31:15, “My times are in your hands…”

    Not climbing alone. My Guide is by my side,
    Joy

  3. Great post Renee! We are climbing a huge hill right now but I can't wait for the thrill once we reach the top.
    Paula G

  4. Great words Renee!! Feel I’m climbing the mountain – thanks for the reminder of the joy in coming down! Pressing on, Jill

  5. Oh yes I’m climbing! Just when I make it to the top of one mountain there is another valley. For the last few months I have seen the mountain tops and I have been in the valleys. Climbing out of the valleys are hard. And every time I start, those muscles ache and burn causing me to want to give in. But I don’t. I haven’t given in to the aching muscles because they are getting stronger. Every time I’m knocked back into a valley, I come out a little quicker and a little stronger. Coming out of the valleys are my experiences with God. And what happens when we experience God more? We become stronger and grow more.
    Do I like being in the valleys? Of course not. But there is something I have noticed while being in those valleys. How do I see the next mountain top…..I look up.

    Angie

  6. Ok, this is the third time in the last three days that the verse you quoted at the end of your post has come up.
    What now?

  7. What an encouraging post, Renee 🙂

    I needed that this morning. Thank you!

    Climbing some mountains,
    Kate 🙂

  8. I just thought about it and realized that if I throw my arms in the air as I go down to the valley, I can’t hold on and it adds to the adventure.
    Like the ride we’re on called Life.
    Diane

  9. Great post!! I feel the burn with you, chickadee!! I just don’t like the downhills though–scary!! But sometimes life is like that. We have the scary times to cling to God and God alone. We release our fears to Him, and He holds us closer to Him.

    Where are you going to be speaking this Saturday? I heard just a part of it on the radio this morning…I was still half asleep!!

    Love ya,
    Susan

  10. You have the greatest analogies, Renee! I just get bogged down in the middle of whatever I’m doing and forget sometimes to see the big picture!

    Hugs to you, my sweet friend!

  11. 1 Peter 5:10 (New International Version)

    10And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
    Standing in the Gap…

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