I’m not sure what the definition is for a mountain, but when you’re climbing one, you know it. A mountain for one isn’t necessarily a mountain for another. I wonder what mountain you’re climbing … relational conflict, marital indifference, sexual temptation, spiritual dryness, church disappointment, or unmet longing. As you lift one foot at a time and remind yourself to breathe, people go on, not even thinking of what’s happening on your mountain “over there.” And that’s okay, because when you’re climbing a mountain, you have to get yourself up the path. But not alone. Without Jesus, we don’t have a chance. (John 15:5)
God invites us to receive climbing companionship. His companionship and that of trusted people. And it’s good. In fact, I wouldn’t have climbed my mountain alone. When I was tired, Jeff grabbed my hand and dragged me up. When I wanted to quit halfway, he inspired me with descriptions of the view. When I was thirsty, he gave me water. When I admitted I didn’t like the heights, he gave me the “inside” lane. I made it up, because I didn’t climb alone.
I joined Jeff for an evening hike up Badger as the sun made it’s daily exit. A stream of other people moved up and down the dusty trails. I could seem them all, since no trees obscure the view. I could see ascents ahead and slopes below. Seeing the whole mountain, the journey looks daunting. I missed hiking hidden trails deep in trees, where all I could see was the short way ahead. I was surprised the exposed climb stirred up my fear of heights. We may climb the same mountain, but our climb is not the same.
- When we’re climbing mountains, other people may not understand.
- When we’re climbing mountains, it helps to have a companion.
- When we’re climbing mountains, God will not leave us alone.
- When we’re climbing mountains, we do it one step at a time.
I laughed when I first saw Badger, because it doesn’t resemble mountains I’ve been on before. It was new. It’s treeless, dry, and barren. It’s still challenging, and it gives Jeff a mountain to climb and heights to look from. I’m grateful, and I needed to climb it with him.
Who’s with you on your mountain?
Some people will question if your mountain is a mountain at all. Others will simply talk about when they climbed a greater mountain. Still others will stand back watching, glad they aren’t the climber. You have to be careful who you join when you climb.
Even so, we aren’t meant to climb mountains alone. If we’re hurt, it can be tempting to climb alone. We’re meant to have companions we trust, friends or mates, family and fellowship. Companionship isn’t about ego or territory or competition; it’s about helping each other climb.
- A companion encourages you #youlllovetheview
- A companion keeps you on course #thisisthebestroute
- A companion tells you what’s true #itsnotashighasitlooks
- A companion gives you feedback #standingisbetterthancrawling
- A companion coaches you practically #thiswayisshorter
- A companion cheers you on #yourereallydoinggreat
- A companion supports you #imsogladyourewithme
- A companion helps you rest #rocksmakegreatseats
- A companion enjoys the journey #wowlookattheview
- A companion drags you if necessary #takemyhandandIllpull
God knows what your mountain is today, and He knows mine too. He promises to enlighten our path (Psalm 119:105), to stay with us (Hebrews 13:5), and to cover us (Exodus 33:22). He also encourages us to do life with companions (Ecclesiastes 4:9). Even Jesus said he was not alone in his challenges (John 8:29; 16:32).
Are you trying to climb alone?
- We need to cultivate companions for the climbs of life.
- We can walk alongside our sisters facing challenges and receive the support of others when we’re on mountains of our own.
- Wives desperately need to nurture the marriage relationship as a partnership for the climbs of life. Our husbands need us as comrades in the journey, just as we need them.
Everyone will spend some time climbing mountains. When we’re overwhelmed, God will be our refuge and our strong place. One of the ways He helps us and makes His presence known is through others to walk beside us. A friend. A husband. A mentor. A prayer partner. Who’s walking with you?
Let’s cultivate companions for the climbs of life.
Hear my cry, O God; give heed to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a refuge for me, a tower of strength against the enemy. (Psalm 61:1-3)