You can’t wish ’em away and you can’t buy ’em off…

There’s an old gospel spiritual that’s been playing a loop in my head over the last week.

You don’t have to move that mountain;  just help me Lord to climb it.

You don’t have to move that stumbling block;  just show me the way around it.

Mountains and stumbling blocks.  You can’t wish them away and you can’t buy them off.

The effort required to scale an emotional or physical mountain seems so immense at the base.  I physically wilt at the thought of using so much precious energy and for so long!  The path is too steep for me, the journey so taxing and time-consuming.   Will I ever be able to get over it?  Is there another way?

You don’t have to move that mountain;  just help me LORD to climb it.

A mountain is the perfect metaphor for struggling athletes and those struggling in faith, like me.  The daily climb demands all of my mind, body and spirit, and then some.

If you are struggling in faith, our LORD has walked your mountain already.

He will help you climb yours today.

Mountains in our paths are pretty obvious and hard to ignore.  We see clearly that the going will be difficult and the progress slow.  What mountain looms in front of you?

On the other hand, stumbling blocks are sneaky and mean.  They grab at our ankles, sling sand in our face, throw low blows in tender areas.  Stumbling blocks sucker-punch us when we least expect it, at the exact moment when we’re picking up steam and making some headway.

Unlike a mountain, we don’t notice we’ve encountered a stumbling block until we’re face down in the dirt, hurting, and wondering what the heck just happened?

You don’t have to move that stumbling block;  just show me the way around it.

Someone I know has a habit of saying “…you know, I’m not normally like this…” It makes me a little crazy.  I want to shake her and shout “This IS you, today.  You ARE  like this, now!”

I see myself in her.  The me of yesterday stands beside the me of today and stares up at the rough path or down at knees bloodied after tripping over myself, yet again.  What will I do, now?  Who will I be, now?  How will I get up?

For good or ill, mountains and stumbling blocks require me to live and act in the new now.  How I behaved back in the day, and who I thought I was in the past matters quite little.

Most of life is spent looking up at obstacles, weary, thirsty, and with a black eye or bloody nose.  It is hard work and heart work to stand at the bottom of today’s personal mountain and start climbing, yet again.  Should I really be surprised when I stumble, when I fall, when I’m a filthy mess!

As much as I wish I could fly, or be carried to the top of my mountain today, there is only one way to get there.

One step at a time.

With joy.

I will lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from?  

Yes!  We have a strong helper!

As much as I would want to float over the wretched and nagging stumbling blocks, there is only one way to get up.

With thanksgiving.

I am not judged for the falling or failing.

We have a compassionate guide and counselor.  He renews our spirit and gives new breath to press on with joy today.

And I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

4 responses to You can’t wish ’em away and you can’t buy ’em off…

  1. Thank you for sharing Kim. My husband and I are leaning on Christ every day to continue to carry us through the stumbling blocks and mountains. We lost our middle son 3 years ago to cancer and so each day especially around the Thanksgiving and Christmas time is a struggle. Life in Africa for me was easy compared to living here with all the experiences I have been through. I am thankful God is using all that we have struggled with and suffered, to help other families in similiar situations. Life’s struggles are worth it for that glorious crown we shall receive when we meet Him.

  2. Given Breath says:

    Oh Julie! I am delighted to hear from you, yet so sad to hear of Brendon no longer being physically with you all this Christmas. That must be so very difficult and must leave a huge hole in all your hearts. I lost a very dear friend to cancer this fall. It cannot compare to the loss of a mother’s child, but I understand just a bit of the deep ache.

    I am glad you are here, where are you settled? Wouldn’t it be great to see each other someday?

    Lots of love to you and yours…

  3. Heather says:

    This really was for me … you are so right! ❤ Thank you for putting into words such an amazing reminder. This mountain I climb daily with my boy Kai … He's already climbed it and He knows and cares. I needed the reminder today as I'm in one of those struggling w/ my faith times. Thank you for allowing Him to speak thru you and I have a renewed determination to face each day of this struggle with thankfulness, finding joy in each day! After all…He promises to never give us more than we can handle right? And He gives us strength for today…one day at a time…one step at a time up that mountain 🙂

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