Are you staring up at mountains? Are you dreading the climb, afraid of crashing down the side on the way up? Are you not sure where to start? Are you questioning whether or not you are even cut out to climb up a mountain at all? Maybe you’re thinking it’s just better if you stay where you are with two feet on the ground. I am too. I’m right here at the bottom with you.
“You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Break camp and advance.”
This is Moses earnestly preaching to the Israelite’s. They were in the end of their fortieth year since their coming out of Egypt and were preparing to take possession of Canaan, the land God had promised them. Moses had heard their grumblings and could bear the burden of these people no more. He reminded them of the struggles God had already brought them through, and that he had literally put this land right there in front of their faces for them to take. His promise was and is and always will be good. He gave them God’s words, break camp and get moving to your promised land.
Aren’t we just like the Israelite’s? God continues to provide for us again and again in our very own wilderness, but when we feel just a hint of struggle we shut down. We think what God is asking us to do should be easy, and when it’s hard we quit. We stomp our feet, and scream and yell, and we hang our heads in defeat. Then we like to stay there sometimes, don’t we? Throw our own pity party that never ends. We pitch our fits, throw up our tents, and make camp. Arms crossed, head down, and heart bitter.
I hate that we do that. I hate that I do that. But we like to feel sorry for ourselves and we like others to feel sorry for us too. Why? Probably because staying in our deep pits of messy life stuff is easier than digging our hands and feet into the rock and dirt of our lives. And when we all get together and share our griefs, handing out sympathy instead of solutions, we simply continue to wallow. We resolve to only stare up at the mountains set before us and think they are too big and we are too small. We forget that Canaan Land is God’s outstretched hand ready to guide us up if we let him.
God is asking us to get over it and get to it. Face your mountain and start climbing. Break camp. Dry your tears, embrace your fears, and toss that bag of sorrows over your shoulders. You have stayed long enough in this place of doubt, and sin, and shame. Advance. Move up the mountain before you into the promised land. The promised plan that God has for us is set right in front of our faces. Climb with me and let’s not be afraid to take it.