Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ~ James 1:2-4
Additional References: Romans 5:3-5, Proverbs 3:5-6, Psalm 37:23-24, Psalm 139:1-5
As I was walking through life, I looked up and saw a mountain looming before me. Jagged cliffs were as far as I could see, and the peak was disguised by clouds. How was I going to climb it? I gulped in fear but plunged ahead because there was no way around it.
God was beside me. I asked for help, and He offered me climbing gear, a path, and protection if I should fall. I didn’t look at His offering. I had asked Him to help, but I really wanted to do it myself.
I chose what looked like the easiest path, but not far into it, I found that it was much more difficult than I had hoped. I was scaling a vertical cliff with nothing to hold me up but my fingers and toes grasping the edges of the rocks.
“Lord, help!” I cried, when I was slipping to my death. I wasn’t strong enough.
My fall stopped. I found that He had slipped a harness around me when I wasn’t looking, and it caught me in midair.
“I would never let you fall,” He said. “But I need you to trust Me.”
“But I want to be in control!” I cried. “How do I know You know the way? What if You take me somewhere terrible and hard? What if You let me fall? How can I trust You?”
“Do you know the way, daughter?”
“I do. Have I ever let You fall?”
“No, Lord, but You’ve taken me to some really scary places!”
“Are you sure it was Me who took you to those places, or you?”
“Hmm. Both, I think.”
“I was there for you either way.”
“Yes, You were. I remember now. We climbed other mountains before. It’s just that, this one seems steeper than any we’ve climbed yet, and I wasn’t sure You knew the way.”
“Daughter, I love you. I would never lead you wrong. And you know Me—I know everything, and I know the path up this mountain. I am all-powerful and will protect you from falling. Whenever you are in control, you lead yourself into disaster. But I know all the hidden dangers and would only lead you into one if it’s the best way for you to grow. I need you to trust Me.”
My shoulders slumped in defeat. I knew He was right, but I didn’t want to surrender my control. He had led me correctly, protected me, and loved me for years. But somehow, I still didn’t feel as though I could trust anyone but myself with my life, even Him.
I thought ahead: if I kept leading the path up this mountain, I would lead myself into disaster again. But if I let Him lead… in my mind’s eye, I saw Him pointing out each safe step to take, gently nudging me another way, smilingly encouraging me and laughing with me, and catching me when I slipped. He would take me up hard paths sometimes, but He would be with me all the way. And we would make it to the top of the mountain together, and I would be a stronger climber—and better at trusting—because of Him.
“Okay, Lord. I’ll trust You. Thank You for Your help and love. I love You too.”
He laughed in joy and hugged me. Then we turned and faced the mountain together.