Sunday, January 25, 2015


TRUTH IS I’M AFRAID OF HIGH PLACES or maybe it’s a fear of falling. I suppose in reality it’s a combination of the two. I’ve not been one for crossing suspension bridges, climbing ladders, or sitting on the edge of a roof, not even very crazy about roller coasters, though I do love the Giant Dipper at the Boardwalk.

A number of years ago, while attending a Family Camp at Mount Hermon, a good friend of mine, Steve Karney, was working the climbing wall. He assured me that he could get me to the top safely, and given the fact that I trusted Steve immensely and that he was as strong as an ox, I decided to give the wall a go.

Steve harnessed me in, pointed out a relatively easy route and then set the ropes and up I went, ever so slowly. When I was about eight feet up my legs started to shake and my arms were too weak to pull any of my bulk up the face of the wall. All of a sudden from what seemed miles below me (eight feet is miles to those fearful of heights) I heard Steve’s voice encouraging me, “Use your legs, they’re the strongest muscle you’ve got!” You see I had been endeavoring to pull myself from hand hold to foothold and could go no further, when once again Steve’s simple direction came, “Stand-up.”

So, I did, and yes, you guessed it I reached the next peg and then the next until I reached the top! Climbing El Capitan it wasn’t, but it was a victory nonetheless.

That day I learned an important lesson in climbing the rock wall; use the right limbs. It’s the old adage, “the right tool for the right job.”

Too often the same is true for the journey of following Jesus. We rely on our weaker muscles, rather than the Holy Spirit’s stronger ones. God, in Christ, has supplied us that which will get us up the wall. We just need to learn how to climb better. Rather than shaking with fear, we just need to stand up in Christ, our firm foundation.

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