We had a guest speaker at our church recently who told about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Though I have little interest in mountain climbing, it was fascinating! What possesses someone to have a desire to do something so difficult?
Scaling rock walls, traversing narrow ledges, enduring very cold temperatures, running low on oxygen. Sounds too dangerous for me.
But sometimes in life we are confronted with mountains of a different magnitude. They may not be what we wished for, but now we face them. How? Bravely? With determination? Or do we run away from the challenge, cursing its very existence?
I learned some valuable lessons from our speaker. He told about the importance of conditioning the body, following the guide’s instructions, and humbly letting someone who is better at hiking carry the heavy gear necessary for the climb. The latter are called porters. They carry tents, sleeping bags, food, water, cookware, gas stoves, medical supplies, and camping gear.
Can you see the parallel to our spiritual lives? We condition ourselves for the difficulties by saturating ourselves with the Word of God, surrounding ourselves with others who are well prepared, and following the Lord’s instructions. We leave the burden bearing to the Holy Spirit, who goes before us and sets up camp when we need to rest. He is capable. We are not. What is required of us is to stay on the trail and keep moving, one step at a time. We need not be weighed down with a heavy load. Jesus said, “My yoke is easy” (Matthew 11:30). He carries the heaviest part.
The porters working on Mount Kilimanjaro have amazing strength, skill and stamina. Climbers wouldn’t make it up the mountain without them. So now I have a new name for God. Not only can I say, “The Lord is my Shepherd” (Psalm 23:1); but now I say “The Lord is my Porter.” He knows every step I need to take. He goes before me and behind me. He prepares my camp. He carries all the necessary supplies and provides whatever I need in any emergency. He willingly bears my load. And He rejoices in my success when I reach the peak.
What more can I ask for? Are you ready to face your mountain today? Are you following the Guide? Are you trusting the Porter?