The uphill climb isn’t over yet

When God finally does something amazing in our lives, there are no words to describe how good He truly is. When he shows up, he really shows up.

He’s just that good.

But here’s the thing. I don’t know about you, but I have this misconception that once God finally answers a long-awaited prayer, that’s it! Everything is going to be perfect. Or at least as close to perfect as you can get.

It’s pretty much like I’ve arrived at my destination. My thoughts may go something like, “So here I am God. Thanks for all your help. I’ve got this now!”

Except it isn’t very long after I get “the thing” that I realize something¬† – this thing comes with challenges all its own.

Well, darn it. I just climbed one mountain. Now I have to go up another one?

And suddenly, there I am again, standing at the bottom of a mountain I cannot possibly climb. Once again, as I’m rendered helpless, I fall on my knees, realizing just how much I need a great big God.

Not that I ever didn’t.

It’s then I must come to terms with something: I may never arrive at my “destination” here on this earth. It’s all a journey.

While the mountains we face look impossible, God can make a way even when there doesn’t appear to be one. He can give us the strength to do it.

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. -Isaiah 40:29-31

We may be at the bottom of a mountain, but we don’t have to climb it alone. I don’t know how we could. When we need strength, Jesus is there to pull us along. Some days he even picks us up and carries us.

And have you noticed how when you fix your eyes on God instead of the situation you’re facing, that mountain starts to shrink?

God allows trials to come into our lives not only so we grow in our faith, but so He can show us His goodness and grace along the way.

I encourage you to pray for peace, strength and wisdom to see beyond the four narrow walls we tend to build around our situations. Pray that the Lord would help you see the bigger picture. He knows the future, and it will all come together for His glory if you follow Him.

And you know what happens after we get through it?

We have a testimony! And that, my friends, is the most powerful thing of all.

All you have to do is ask

I hate admitting this, but I can really be a worrier sometimes. Maybe you can relate.

Usually, the thing I’m fretting over is something that’s not within my reach of control. But somehow, it seems that by sitting there worrying about it, that’s totally going to fix things, right?

I can’t even count the number of instances I’ve wrung my hands for some amount of time before it occurred to me that I haven’t even prayed or sought God on the issue yet.

And how often do we worry about something that’s not even real? We conjure up fears in our minds and worry about all the “what ifs.” I know I do.

Come to think of it, this happened to me the other day. Fear crept into my mind about something totally nonexistent but hypothetical. All in my head. Then I felt God’s gentle nudge, reminding me he was there.

When I finally prayed to Him, I felt relief. He gives a peace that passes understanding, and it’s amazing.

We tend to complicate this concept. But it’s so simple: Just ask Him. He wants to hear what’s on your heart. You’re His child and He would love nothing more than to just talk with you. It’ true God already knows what you need, but He wants you to tell Him.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. -Matthew 7:7-8

Isn’t that a great promise? If we just seek Him and His will, He’ll provide for us. No concern is too big or too small.¬† But worrying in the meantime isn’t going to get us there any faster.

I can equate this to something I do often – running on a treadmill. It’s a good way to exhaust yourself without actually going anywhere. Worrying is exactly the same thing.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? -Matthew 6:25-27

The Lord continually reminds me of the last part of that verse. It seems so obvious – how could we add a single hour to our lives by worrying? But if you’re like me, you may forget!

A good reminder of this is to think back to a time when I felt fear about a particular situation and how worrying didn’t improve anything. Then I think of what God did. And you know what? He always came through. He is so faithful.

Sometimes I can’t believe how good God has been to me. I’m so undeserving, yet he continually provides more than I ask for. So why did I worry so much? True faith is trusting that God isn’t going to let us down. He never does.

He isn’t going to let you down either. Just ask Him for help. He wants to intervene in your situation and give you a peace that passes all understanding.