When you choose to walk on the path God sets before you, it is not unusual to come across the occasional mountain. Whether we are raising families, running businesses or writing books, there will be times when what you are called to do, will feel so much bigger than what you are able to achieve or overcome.
It is amazing to see the dream that God put in my heart nearly a decade ago, finally take shape. The closer I am getting to the finishing line, the more I am in awe of the goodness and faithfulness of God in this race He called me to run. But there are times when I feel absolutely overwhelmed by the challenges in front of me.
Writing my book cost me. It placed a demand on my time, my relationships and resources. It challenged my personal insecurities and pushed me way out of my comfort zone. There were days when finishing this book seemed like an impossible mountain to scale.
It was at a time when I was feeling completely overwhelmed that the Lord reminded me of another mountain experience. I was fourteen years old and in high school. Every South African high school pupil is subjected to a week of ‘veldskool’: an obligatory, residential programme where vital life skills are taught. I didn’t mind gaining some solid survival, leadership and team building skills. I just would have preferred if it wasn’t in the middle of nowhere, roughing it out on a mountain!
I do not come from a family of campers. We are accustomed to hotel rooms, where a hot bath and a hair dryer is never far away. I dreaded this week of ‘veldskool’. So there I found myself in the African bushveld, with a heavey backpack on my back and a huge mountain before me. We started to climb.
As the day progressed, everything started to hurt. With every step I took that backpack became heavier and heavier. I wasn’t as fit as the other kids. I was lagging behind and my team was penalised for it. When a friend tried to carry my backpack, the teacher ridiculed me in front of everyone. Not only because I wasn’t carrying my own burden, but I was holding the entire team back. It was so embarrassing.
By the time we reached the campsite, I was hurting inside and out. I had barely enough energy to set up my shelter and get settled for the night. But something happened as I took my seat at the campfire. As warmth of the fire started to soothe my weary body, I took a deep breath and looked up at the African sky above me. It took my breath away!
Scattered all over the heavens were billions of stars. It was spectacular. I felt overwhelmed once again. But this time, I was overwhelmed by the incredible beauty of creation and the awesome God who spoke those stars into being. It wrecked me in a glorious way. It changed me so much that I wanted to climb another mountain. Even if it meant experiencing pain or discomfort.
As the Lord reminded me of that mountain, I realised that my experience in ‘veldskool’ was not that different to the mountains I face in life. It was as I ascended the mountain of authoring my book ‘Untangled’, that I faced the same questions that I did on that mountain in South Africa:
- Do I have what it takes to make it all the way to the finishing point?
- Will I keep moving forward, even when I feel like I’m lagging behind?
- Am I willing to carry the responsibility of my assignment, regardless of how heavy it feels at times?
The good news is that we also have a Teacher on our mountain, but He is not shaming us for how we climb. He gives us grace for our pace. He encourages, strengthens us, affirms us, trains us and establishes us in our true identity and purpose; one step at a time. And we even get to help carry each other’s backpacks from time to time! How awesome is that?
My Teacher showed me that I can look at the mountain in front of me as an opportunity to encounter my Creator. The One who created me for a specific purpose. He reminded me that it was on the Mount of Transfiguration that the Father established and affirmed His Son:
Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”
Mark 9:7 NIV
What if you looked at your mountain today as an opportunity to encounter the God who loves you and who called you according to His purpose?
What if you used that feeling of being overwhelmed by the mountain to position yourself to be overwhelmed by God? He wants to overwhelm you with His love and grace:
Yes, God is more than ready to overwhelm you with every form of grace, so that you will have more than enough of everything —every moment and in every way. He will make you overflow with abundance in every good thing you do.
2 Corinthians 9:8 TPT
Take some time today to remember that God knows exactly where you are and He has seen every sacrifice you have made as you followed His lead. He is waiting for you to take your overwhelmed heart and place it in His hands, so that He can overwhelm you with His goodness.
Make this your declaration today:
God is more than ready to overwhelm me with every form of grace. I overflow with abundance in every good thing I do.
Thank you that we do not have to scale our mountains on our own. You are always with us, teaching us and helping us as we walk out the plans you have for us. Make us sensitive to your voice and remind us that when we feel overwhelmed, we have a wonderful opportunity to encounter you. To experience your grace and goodness.
In your presence we are established and affirmed. You are so awesome Lord. We love you. And it is such a privilege to run this race with you!
Today, I hear the Father say: “Wonderful One. You make my heart swell with pride as you bravely scale the mountain before you. There is no obstacle that we cannot conquer together. Not only have I put everything you need within you, but I am also with you, showing you where you need to place each footstep. I have gone before you and I know the way. Simply follow me. We’ve got this!” ❤