Imagine yourself the side of a mountain. You’ve come with a group of guys (and gals) to do some hiking and camping in the mountains. You get dropped off overlooking a valley. Above is the snowy, rocky summit. But then your party disperses. One guy heads off down the valley by himself. Another heads in a different direction down into the valley. Your friend stays with you and you have a choice to make. Do you ascend the summit? Or do you descend into the green valley?
The summit would be an extreme challenge but the valley would be a much easier. Much more smooth and peaceful. But, the summit. Going up would be hard, but the reward would be great.
In the Bible, a mountain can symbolize a challenge or obstacle that needs to be overcome by faith (Matt. 17:20, 21:21). It is a symbol of the eternal kingdom of God, Mt. Zion (Heb. 12:22). Mountains are also places of great significance. In Psalm 24, it says, “Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?... The one who has clean hands and a pure heart” (vs. 3, 4).
Sometimes, I think, we want an easy Christianity. But walking with God is not easy. God never said it would. It is challenging, sometimes difficult. Sometimes, to walk with God is to be stretched, baffled, bewildered, and strained beyond what we may have felt we could ever possibly handle. But the reward is great! I Peter 1:4 says we have an inheritance kept for us in heaven, which “never perish, spoil or fade.” Hebrews 10:35 says we should not throw away our confidence, “it will be richly rewarded.” We know that Jesus has promised that he is preparing a place for us in heaven (John 14:2-3).
In 2008, Alex and Bret Harris wrote a book called, “Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations.” I’ve never read the book, and don’t know much about it. Nevertheless, I like the idea. God hasn’t called us to do easy things. Walking with God, like scaling a summit, can be an extreme challenge. It’s not for the faint of heart. But God does promise us strength for the journey. He promises to walk with us.
Is there a problem in your life you need to overcome? Be strong in the Lord (Eph. 6:10). You can do it! Is there something you believe God has called you to? Walk by faith and embrace the challenge! With God’s help, you can scale that mountain!