I have a thing about heights (which is just another way of saying I could live without ever having to climb a mountain). Secondly, I am not particularly fond of hiking at temperatures above 21 degrees C. When you put those two things together, they make a combination that is not my idea of fun. Certainly not the kind of passtime I would choose during a vacation.
A few weeks ago, we were on holiday in Gran Canaria and my lovely husband decided that our holiday would not be complete if we didn’t visit Roque Nublo, a volcanic rock which at its top is more than 1800 m above sea level. And yes, you guessed right – I found myself trekking up that height in temperatures close to 25 degrees. What made me do it? Love for my family. Apart from spending time with my Heavenly Father, there is nothing dearer to my heart than spending time with my husband Austin and children, Shona and Daniel. So I agreed to climb Roque Nublo when I would much rather have spent the day lying on the beach, reading a book.
I made sure I had the right gear on (I was determined to look the part) and we began the climb. I was prepared to give it my best shot. The path leading up to the rock was narrow and everytime I ventured to look over the edge, the sheer drop made my stomach churn. I tried not to look down too often, focussing instead on the road ahead, wishing I could walk with my eyes shut. About halfway up (except I didn’t know at the time that we were only halfway up) we stopped under a shade to catch our breath. Austin and the kids urged me to wait under the shade while they went on. They commended me for what I had achieved so far. I was touched by their concern – and oh so tempted. After all I had alfready gone further than I imagined I could. It didn’t take much persuading to make me give in and make myself comfortable under the shade of a tree. My family resumed their climb, without me.
For some reason (I’ll never know why I did this) I decided to ask God if I was right to wait under the shade. Almost immediately I heard His whisper inside, ‘trust me and keep going.’ Mustering up all the courage I could, I left my safe spot and started climbing again, calling out to my family to wait for me. Eventually, I made it to the top – in one piece. The view was spectacular. Standing here at the top with my hands stretched out, in praise to God, I felt the Father’s pleasure. I had chosen to trust Him and take the risk, even though everything within me wanted to choose comfort. As I stood with the gentle breeze against my hot face I remembered a quote I had heard somewhere – no risk, no reward: no guts, no glory. And I knew somehow that in the weeks and months to come, I would reap the benefits of that one act of ‘facing my fear and doing it anyway’.
The physical often mirrors the spiritual. Everytime you face something you fear, but act anyway, trusting God to watch your back, you break the hold of fear over your life. The victory you gain in one area of your life is invariably felt in other areas. Every step that I took on that climb, I took looking to God for His help. He loves it when we trust in Him with every little bit of or hearts. There is nothing to be ashamed of in admitting that we need Him desperately. And His grace is always enough.
If you are ever going to fulfil all God’s purpose for your life, there are going to be times when you will have to take risks that make your hair stand on end and your stomach churn. The secret to succeeding, is to take the hand that your Father God holds out to you and do it afraid. The rewards will astound you – every single time.
In His name