Pressing On in the Climb Through God’s Word – Especially When It’s Hard

Pressing on in the Climb through God's Word - especially when it's hard. SmellingCoffee.com

Hi everyone! If we are Instagram or Twitter friends, you’ll know that I’ve been on a trip with my mom to visit my sister and her family out in Castle Rock, Colorado. We just got back after being gone for 10 days – and had the sweetest of times. Though it was hard to leave my dear hubby, Abi, and Zoe (the dog), it was a wonderful time with family that we miss terribly on this side of the Mississippi River.

 

Now, you Northern-and/or/athletic-friends aren’t going to think this any of this next part is so special, but to this indorsy-flat-landed-Delta girl these next two things I’m about to say deserve a rip-roaring Whoo-Hoo from me – and there IS a spiritual point about discipleship (and some encouragement to those of you who would wish your love ones were more “into the Word”) on the last one, I promise! 😉

1. It snowed! Yay!!!!! And it was B.EA.U.T.I.F.U.L!!!!!!!!! We arrived shortly after they had gone through a blizzard, and though snow was still piled over a foot high on the ground, many people were wearing short sleeved shirts, shorts, and no jackets. No kidding! The sun had warmed everything up so much that they were walking around in a live oxymoron. Snow and shorts all at the same time. Kinda’ the best of both worlds! 😉 {They don’t have the humidity we have, so their cold isn’t a bitter cold like ours is – so when it’s 50 degrees out there, it’s warm. It’s crazy – that’s really what it is! Crazy and wonderful!}

The family took us up to Devil’s Thumb Ranch and Resort for a few days on a vacation and it snowed charmingly for us each day we were there. They graciously offered me the chance to learn to ski, and I seriously considered it… even attempted to make myself want to do it… but no matter how hard I tried to muster up the desire to add “go skiing” to my bucket list so I could cross it off, I just plain didn’t want to do it. It took a while for me to be ok with myself over that. But then an entire afternoon in the spa {thanks to a treat for Mom, Bec, and me from my brother-in-law, Bill} remedied any lingering regrets over a missed skiing opportunity.  Whew!

2. I did climb up the “Castle Rock” – So, I didn’t ski, but I did want to walk up a trail climb something. That’s more than doing nothing. Right? I loathe to say it, but I’m not an exercising kind of gal. It’s my goal to become one, I’m just not there yet. Right now, my main “sport” is hunting…  As in Hunting Bargains in the Clearance Aisles.  So this was climbing thing was quite huge for me. (But if my little nephew could do it, I figured I could, too!) My sister planned the outing, provided the equipment needed, encouraged me that I could do it… kept me strengthened along the trail… waited on me when I needed to rest… and celebrated with me when I made it to the top!

This was the picture before going up.

Before the Climb. SmellingCoffee.com

This is what we climbed – The Castle Rock (and my darling nephew, Crawford):

Castle Rock. SmellingCoffee.com

And this is the view from the top. 🙂

View from the top of Castle Rock. SmellingCoffee.comIsn’t it beautiful?

This is the victory picture!!

After the Climb. SmellingCoffee.com

And this picture was taken seconds after the victory picture. HaHa! I was trying to catch my breath while trying not to throw up all at the same time.

The Unseen Parts of Victory. SmellingCoffee.comAnd I realized that this, too, this catching of the breath and sick to the stomach sensation, this is also part of a victory.  It’s often the natural result of pressing on and doing what’s hard, even when everything inside is begging to quit.

I didn’t put that one on Instagram, but maybe I should have.

See, that was a hard climb for me.

Others were zipping up and down right past us. But my body was screaming for me to stop. My heart was racing, the altitude was squeezing my lungs closed, my legs were turning to jello, and I had been slowing down the rest of our group (which consisted of my sister, her friend and their two kindergartners – which was making me consider feeling quite inadequate, btw.). They were Castle Rock natives who had done this before, many times. Me? I was brand new at all of it, and totally feeling every inch out of my element.

However, once I got to the top and made it back down, I felt a HUGE sense of accomplishment and victory. In fact, right before we left my sister’s house for this little adventure, I almost backed out… almost opting for another cup of coffee and/or maybe a little nap. But she wouldn’t let me – she encouraged me to go on with our plans, and I’m so glad.

SmellingCoffee.com:divider

This whole experience made me think of what it must feel like for someone who walks into a Bible study for the first time… or a church service… or picks up the Scriptures for the first time… or someone who is thinking about it, wanting to do it, but is vacillating between that and another cup of coffee or a nap (or whatever else it is that is preferred over the harder thing). I’m thinking of the person to whom studying the Bible is totally out of their element, whose heart may begin to race, lungs squeeze tight, and legs weaken like jello when they walk into a scenario where they must join the natives in opening the Word.

The fear of slowing down the group or appearing to be the weakest or most ignorant is real, and I’m afraid that it’s what might be keeping some (especially men?) from pressing on and upwards in Bible study.

What do you think?  Could something like this be keeping YOU from pressing on in the climb through God’s Word?  Could the enemy be using fear and intimidation to keep you, your husband, or loved one from opening the Scriptures and staying in them  when things become difficult to hear or understand?

So what can we do? Just like my sister did with and for me and our climb:

1. We can pray for ourselves and our loved ones to have a true hunger and thirst for the Word of God that nothing else will satisfy.

O God, you are my God;
    I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
    my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
    where there is no water.
Psalm 63:1 (NLT)

 

2. We can commit to Bible Study, and/or invite our loved ones to join us in Bible Study. Whether it’s in a formal group, small group, or a one-on-one situation, if you are in a study, or are willing to open the Word with someone, invite him/her/them to join you and keep pressing on.

If you are not currently studying the Word yourself, this link will help you get started, then ask God to lead you to someone who will open the Word with you, encourage you, and hold you accountable.

May we never tire
of doing what is good and right
before our Lord
because in His season
we shall bring in a great harvest
if we can just persist.
Galatians 6:9 (VOICE)

 

3. If we are the ones encouraging someone else in the Word, we can provide what they need to make it to their first goal – to their first finish line. There is something invigorating about holding a finished Bible study or journal of notes from a section of Scripture studied. Whether through providing equipment, help, encouragement to press on, and/or grace to rest, we can be by their side cheering them along the way and giving them the gentle push needed to keep continuing on to achieving their next goals along their path of spiritual growth.

 

4. We can celebrate spiritual milestones together because soon, not only will we be an encouragement to them, they will become to us one who presses us to keep on keeping on, growing in our own walks with the Lord as we dig deeper into the depths of His Word.

Know what this is really called? Discipleship. It’s been going on for centuries – where one believer who has strength in a certain area comes alongside another believer encouraging accountability and growth. It’s what we all should be doing.

Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going.
He always keeps his word.
Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love
and helping out,
not avoiding worshiping together as some do
but spurring each other on,
especially as we see the big Day approaching.  
Hebrews 10:23-25 (Message)
The rewards are spiritual, emotional, mental, physical, and eternal!

Study this Book of Instruction continually.
Meditate on it day and night
so you will be sure to obey everything written in it.
Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.
Joshua 1:8 (NLT)

Who can you pray for and encourage today to join you in climbing uphill in God’s Word?

Who needs a gentle push to choose this adventure in Scripture over another cup of coffee or a nap?  Is it you, my friend?  Then join me in making this beautiful Psalm-prayer the cry of your heart.  God will be faithful to His Word. 🙂

Psalm 119:37 SmellingCoffee.com

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About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two teenagers, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com