In 2022, my brother-in-law, Ezra, and I created a goal. That goal was to climb the highest point in every state. This ambitious dream (or nightmare) was one spurred out of doing something hard, challenging, and uncomfortable. Some states, like Missouri, are a walk in a park – a literal walk in a park. Taum Sauk Summit sits at a whopping 1,772 feet, whereas a place like Mount McKinley in Alaska is at 20,310 feet. 

Now, I know that you know that I am not flying to Alaska and climbing Mount McKinley. In all actuality, there are several high points that I will never climb. I did say it was a dream, remember? 

So far, we have only hit two states: Oklahoma at Black Mesa State Park and Texas at Guadalupe Peak. Each hike has enriched my soul and inspired me as I see God’s handiwork in creation. However, each hike has not been easy. It usually starts with an early morning, hours and hours of believing the false summits at every turn, and then when you finally get to the top, you remember you have to turn and do it all over again. 

The parallels between our faith journey and climbing a mountain are astounding. 

Complicated, challenging, frustrating, confusing, and exhausting are a few words I can think of when it comes to the journey on the pathway to experience completeness in Jesus. 

Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:2-4

In our faith journey, you will encounter inevitable trials like doubts, fears taking root in your heart, a lack of inspiration, or a constant overwhelming temptation.

In those moments, you have a few choices:

  1. Turn back and walk away.
  2. Decide to hunker in one spot and become stagnant.
  3. Persevere and continue the climb. 

It is easy to sit here and type, “I always choose option number 3.” But that isn’t the case. In all honesty, I often choose option number 2. It is a safe option. I still find ways to enjoy the sights there. I don’t feel like I’m moving backward, but I become lethargic in my faith when I decide to sit in one spot. 

As mentioned, I don’t climb these mountains alone but with my brother-in-law, Ezra. If he hadn’t been on the climbs with me, I would have chosen option number 1. I would have decided, “This is good enough.” I would have missed the opportunity to say that I ascended and made it. He was there to push me, to encourage me to persevere, and to remind me that I wasn’t alone in that climb. Getting to the top reminded me that it was worth it and that I’d do it all again.

That’s what I want to do for you as you read this. May this remind you that you are not alone in your journey to experience completeness in Jesus. I’m there in the middle of the climb as well. And thousands of others at Christ’s Church are also on the journey.

And if I had to use a few words to describe the journey outside of the struggle, they would be rewarding, refreshing, exciting, awe-inspiring, beautiful, and worth it. 

So, if you find yourself on the mountain of faith to start this year, facing false summits, the sudden increase in elevations, the constant switchbacks, and the feeling of never getting where you are trying to go, remember that’s just a part of the climb.

We want to equip you in your journey. If you want resources on bible study and prayer or are interested in joining a small group that can journey with you, follow the link below.

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