I love the feeling of hiking to the top of the trail and finally arriving at a luscious waterfall, climbing steeply all the way. When I lived in Northern California, I used to find several of these spots and as often as I could I trekked upward, sometimes alone and sometimes with a buddy.
In my Christian walk and in my ministry I have to remember what that top of the mountain experience feels like. Every step of agony in the walk to follow Jesus seems to get harder. My temptation is to look back as I plow the fields of my heart. (Luke 9:62) Why is there no rest? Why are things so hard? Am I being punished or is this just how it is?
How it is? It is like climbing an uphill trail. It is agony. (Colossians 1:29) The rest I seek and refreshment I long for is on the path to the waterfall at the top of the a mountain. The water is fresh. The air is pristine. The shade and sounds soothe. You can imagine all these on the hike. My rest is in the battle of the ascent and tastes sweeter by my arrival.
But, it is not the mountain-top waterfall that refreshes me as much as knowing the steps I take bring me closer. The steps I take toward Christ do not always in and of themselves give me rest. Faith in what I will and do find in Christ secures my steps and strengthens my stride.
How are you stepping these days?