A Steep Climb

During a recent play-date at Chick-Fil-A, my 16-month-old son climbed to the top of the playscape to explore the overhead tunnel. This was his first attempt at tackling the Godzilla of toys.

It was not an easy climb for a little guy. His big sister stood near as his spotter, but resisted the urge to hoist him upward. In addition to reaching his goal, my son did something else I wasn’t expecting from him. Each time he reached the next level, he screamed with terror; yet instead of reaching toward me for rescue, he garnered composure and stretched his 24-pound body toward the next step. When he finally landed safely in the tunnel, he excitedly stomped his feet and squealed a triumphant cry.

My journey to becoming the woman I was designed to be shares a few similarities with my son’s physical milestone. Sometimes, small steps of victory invoke more fear than the climb itself. Why? Following Jesus is not safe. In fact, obedience often takes me out of my comfort zones.

Paradoxically, deeper fellowship with the Prince of Peace, the securer of my eternity, can hurl me into uncharted territories. It is a process of refining, and sometimes it’s even scary. Loving others as much as I love myself, forgiving someone who has scarred my soul, and serving the wounded in spirit leave me vulnerable to embarrassment, schemes, and rejection. It is not safe. Some steps of obedience cause me to shudder. But I see the prize, so I continue toward it.

Bless our God, O peoples, and sound His praise abroad, Who keeps us in life, and does not allow our feet to slip. For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined. Psalm 66:8-10 (New American Standard Bible)

Unlike my toddler’s trip, my quest requires assistance. I need the support of my siblings in Christ in the form of prayer, fellowship, accountability, and Biblical counsel. I need my gear, which is the Word of God. And, I need the hand of the One whose image I long to reflect. Without Him to steady me, bandage me, comfort me, and guide me, I would remain frozen in fear with my terrorized scream wailing like an emergency siren.

When my precious Jesus leans down and whispers in my ear, “Don’t give up. This is for my glory or I would not ask this of you. I promise you that in spite of any injuries you suffer along the way, victory is guaranteed,†I can look up to the next step and continue my climb, and the closer I get to Jesus, the clearer I see the beauty that fences the journey. Could there be any better reason to rejoice?

6 Responses to A Steep Climb
  1. Tiffanie
    August 20, 2008 | 10:00 am

    I think that when following Jesus, we are always safe, it just might not seem so to us. But like his sister was there to catch your son, Jesus is there spotting us, climbing with us and ready to catch us also.

  2. Becoming Me
    August 20, 2008 | 12:11 pm

    Hi Tiffanie, I certainly agree with you…I struggled with the word unsafe but I meant it from a human perspective it is not deemed “safe.” There are those that will hate us and oppose us because of our faith…walking with Christ is so not easy. But yes, He is definitely helping us along the way and we are no more secure than when we walk with Him. 🙂

  3. genny
    August 20, 2008 | 4:22 pm

    This is beautiful! And I know what you mean–refining can be so scary. But always worth it.

  4. White Hot Magik
    August 20, 2008 | 5:13 pm

    What you said is very true. I have been struggling a lot the last few weeks with insecurities about myself. The fear of failure or looking dumb or not being good enough are really plaguing me. It would be a shame to let those fears inhibit what God wants me to do wouldn’t it? I will keep repeating that to myself, and keep praying for confidence.

  5. Jaime
    August 21, 2008 | 2:50 pm

    Yes! Loved this post! So true. He never lets us get comfortable or complacent but He’s always there, never asking us to do more than He is capable of getting us through. Awesome post!

  6. Karen
    August 21, 2008 | 8:50 pm

    Yes, as we climb we may feel very unsafe – but we are perfectly secure with HIM.
    And the climb is certainly more exciting when we do it His way!
    Thanks for sharing your heart again.