Devotion: Overcoming Challenges

This past week, Lindsay and I hiked a 14,000 foot high mountain in Colorado.

The 10 hour, 8 mile hike was one of the more challenging adventures I have done.

There became a point where I exhaustedly clung to the scree looking at my altimeter.  We were at 14,000 feet, but had 400 more feet before the first summit.  Either we could retreat having accomplished the 14,000 goal or keep pushing forward.

Of course after hitting that first summit, we had to traverse to a second 14,000 foot peak.

It was during this first summit push that I realized the importance of taking on the immediate challenge in front of me.

Rather than focusing on the summit that loomed immediately above, or the second one far off in the distance, I focused on 5 minute segments.

Rather than calculating the 400 feet of loose rocks we still had to climb, or the miles of hiking remaining, I focused on a marker slightly in front of me. Slowly, methodically, I
reached the summit as these segments accumulated.

Often we can get ourselves overwhelmed when we try to plan out what
life will be like in 5 years, or even 5 months from now.

Jesus on the Sermon of the Mount, challenges us when he says, “So do
not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own.
Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:34. He is telling
his listeners to focus on what is immediately before you, and not to
worry about the summits that loom above you, or the ones you cannot even see.

(Also, notice that Jesus doesn’t diminish, dismiss, or negate the “troubles” in our lives, but acknowledges that each day holds it’s own challenges and troubles).

Therefore, if we push forward, taking small steps—taking on 5 minutes
chunks—over time these will accumulate and we will overcome these
challenges.

So if we tackle the things that need our immediate attention, we can trust God that over time He will lead us through the highs and lows of life.

What immediate challenges are standing before you? What huge challenges loom far above you? How can you release those concerns to God and trust that he is walking with you each step of the way?

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