Reach Higher . . . But with a Sure Footing
Copyright 2008 Sandy Lawrence
It was nearly a decade ago, and rock climbing was all the rave. I found myself with a harness wrapped around my torso and legs with a line running up the rock wall above me and another running behind me to someone who ‘had my back’ and who was there to help with my novice descent back down.
As I faced the wall and looked up, my knees suddenly didn’t feel so strong, and my stomach was fluttering, but I took my first step and found a footing. The wisdom of the instructor ran through my mind (maybe I even muttered it on my lips) as I looked up to the ledge above and plotted my next step . . .
“Make sure you have a good footing and PUSH UP with your legs from there. Don’t pull-up with your arms – the weaker part of the body, or you’ll tire quickly.”
I spotted another foothold, lifted my leg, placed my foot firmly and pushed. I used my arms to keep me steady, but I focused on using my legs, with an eye to where I was planting my foot next above.
I did this again and again, and yet another time . . . and another. Suddenly, “WHOO HOO!!!” I’d made it up three stories to the top of the wall . . . inside the sporting goods store (!)
I’d done it – something I never thought I could. I had climbed a wall. (No big deal to some of you, but to the little girl inside of me who failed every single fitness test in elementary school, this was a small victory.)
Thinking back on that day years ago I realize THIS IS A LOT LIKE THE LIFE OF A BELIEVER.
As a believer, Christ is my sure footing and certainly my strength, but more so I am struck by the lesson that I must KEEP LOOKING UP (to GOD) to face the next challenge that will indeed take me higher if HE is my source of stability.
I should not rely on my weaker self (flesh and self-sufficiency) to get off the ledge and up to the next level. When I do, I tire quickly; I make poor decisions and get discouraged.
Instead, I need to PUSH UP by faith with my feet firmly planted on the ROCK of CHRIST, considering all HE has done and has promised to do in and through me. That’s a firm foundation I can count on.
And what about that person with a hand on that rope – that one who ‘has my back’ as I vertically crawl up, and who is there to help me come down off the mountain (or the rock walls of daily challenges)?
Well, maybe that’s the brother or sister in Christ who has the gift of intercession, or teaching, or discernment and similar gifts of the Spirit. Or possibly, it’s my husband, my spiritual mentors, my small group and faithful prayer partners who remain connected to me AND God with the tethers of empathetic prayers.
Or maybe it’s the Holy Spirit who prays on my behalf when I don’t know what I need.
Thank you, God for the confidence of Christ, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and for those faithful fellow climbers and guides you send my way! Keep me humble and open to their faithful instruction, and keep me focused on YOU, my sure foothold.
1 Peter 2:6-8
“For in Scripture it says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.”
Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
“The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone,” and,
“A stone that causes men to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.”
They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.”
1 Cor. 10:4
“For they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.”