My husband and I love hiking. We hike a lot when the weather is cooler. It’s more enjoyable because you warm up pretty quickly when you’re literally climbing to the tops of mountains. The view is always worth it but the terrain can sometimes be challenging getting there. That’s why we like the conditions to be just right when we choose a trail. The journey of life, however, is not that way. We don’t get to choose the temperature and we certainly don’t pick the terrain. Life gets handed to us every day. Sometimes it’s a tiptoe through the tulips with the breeze blowing and sometimes it’s torrential downpours climbing up icy rock paths. You never know when you wake up what the day will bring.
For we walk by faith, not by sight (II Corinthians 5:7 NKJV). We’ve probably all heard this verse at some point. I’ve always interpreted it as knowing God is for me and trusting Him (that I can’t see) over the things life presents that overwhelm me (that I can see). Sure, this is certainly part of it. But recently, the Lord showed me a word in that scripture that I often overlook. The word “walk”. Walking requires putting one foot in front of the other and moving towards a destination of some sort. It doesn’t take a lot of faith for me to walk to the laundry room to fold clothes. However, when presented with a challenge, we sometimes get paralyzed with fear. The enemy throws every accusation against you or tells you you’re not good enough, etc. You find the terrain extremely challenging and you shut down. We forget that the God of the universe is on our side and cower down to fear a lot of the time. The main problem with this is that it stops your forward progress on the journey of life and you tie the Lord’s hands in whatever situation you find yourself in. Since He will never leave or forsake us, He’s camped out right there in the middle of the trail with us. He knows we will get through this if we just keep walking but we totally stopped. This is certainly not where we should be parked but sometimes we stay there much longer than intended.
When hardship comes your way, do you trust Him enough to keep walking? Things may look really tough in the natural but He’s supernatural! He rules over everything. The enemy’s job is to try to get you fixated on the troubles horizontally and not look to Jesus vertically. Speaking of The Lord, the psalmist said “He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.” (Psalms 23:3 NLT) If you take each step by faith in the One who never fails, He will get you to your destination of His choosing. He picks the “right paths”. He will provide the strength as we need it. This kind of life terrain builds our spiritual muscles. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow (James 1:3 NLT).
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1 NIV). Time after time that the Lord sees you through hardship, you become more confident walking on tough terrain. He got you through it last time and He will certainly get you through it this time. “I the Lord do not change.” (Malachi 3:6 NIV) He’s going to allow you to go through challenges over and over until you’re no longer afraid or threatened by them. He’s creating stamina in you that can only come from experience. He’s never going to stop being your defender. He’s never going to leave you to your own inadequacy. He’s never going to stop loving you.
To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. (Jude 1:24-25 NIV) We serve a mighty powerful God. Keep walking!
Today’s writer is Brandi Crowe. A hairdresser for over 25 years, she is currently the owner of Brandi Crowe salon in Buford, GA. She loves hiking, a good cup of coffee, and spending time with family and friends. Brandi lives in a custom farmhouse with her husband Robby and cat Harold.