“The Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like those of a deer and enables me to walk on mountain heights.” ~Habakkuk 3:19
I hate heights. They make me feel unsafe and insecure. One time, I was prepared to forfeit a weekend’s rent on a cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains because I got lost driving on the mountain road. I did finally manage to make it to the cabin after the rental agent graciously offered to meet and let me follow her to the cabin. Even with this incentive, I was tempted to stay at the bottom of the mountain where I felt safe and secure and where my stomach was not turning flips on itself. The agent assured me it was an easy drive up a paved road—no big deal. So with a big gulp and (somewhat) steely determination, I got behind the wheel to journey up the mountain. When we finally made it up, the view was amazing! We were in the middle of beautiful trees with a direct view of another mountain. We thoroughly enjoyed our weekend in our cabin on the top of the mountain, but without help, I would have missed it.
Life is like that, isn’t it? It can be tough and scary and sometimes make our stomachs turn flips. It is hard. We just can’t do it alone. Left on our own, we are scared and frustrated and determined to stay at the bottom of the mountain, but if we rely on our guide, we can scale the highest mountains and enjoy the awesome views.
That is a beautiful platitude, right? It is not just empty words; it is what the Bible says: God is our strength. We were never meant to conquer our mountains alone. When you feel like you can’t overcome the stifling fear or the pain long enough to take even one step toward your mountain, much less scale it, you are right; you can’t do it. None of us can scale our mountains by ourselves. We need the Lord.
Without the Lord, we are wandering scary mountain roads, lost. With the Lord, we may still tremble on the road, but he will steady us. This doesn’t mean everything will be perfect. We will still stretch, reach, and sometimes groan as we climb, and the journey probably will probably not look the way we expect. The book of Habakkuk in the Bible chronicles an exchange between Habakkuk and the Lord. Habakkuk is petitioning the Lord, asking why so much evil is being allowed to reign over God’s people. The Lord reminds Habakkuk that he has a plan; he will execute it in his own time and in a way that is probably not exactly what Habakkuk has in mind.
Throughout the book, Habakkuk continually praises the Lord, even when the Lord deals with things differently than Habakkuk himself would. Habakkuk remembers that God is sovereign and has great plans for his people. The same is true for us. We may not understand or even be able to see God’s plan for us, but we need to trust that it is good. It is even better than any plans we could make for ourselves.
Whatever mountain you are facing today—whether it is caused by anxiety, health issues, a financial burden, or a troubled relationship—reach out for the Lord. He will give you the strength you need to persevere to the mountain heights. He will not only give you strength to reach the top of the mountain, but also to walk confidently on those soaring mountain heights.
Scriptures for Reflection
“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’” declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’” (Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV)
“We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone.” (Psalm 33:20-22 NLT)
“But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’” (Matthew 14:30-31 NIV)
“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
Reach for More
What mountain is looming before you today? Pray about it. Reach out to the Lord and allow him to be your strength. Join The Glorious Table Community on Facebook, and allow us to pray for and with you.
If you feel comfortable, share your mountain story with others. To link up with us on social media, use the hashtag #tgtreachformore.
Dana Herndon is a writer and blogger as well as an elementary and middle school teacher. She and her husband live in Georgia with their three children. In addition to teaching and writing, Dana loves to read, watch Food Network and HGTV, follow politics, and paddleboard. She blogs at danaherndon.com.
Photograph © Chris Holgersson, used with permission