Mount Everest! It’s gorgeous! It’s MASSIVE! And in an attempt to conquer such a mountain, you may face death! Anyone who has ever climbed this mountain has been forever changed. The planning is long, the training is hard, and the cost is unbelievable (anywhere from 25 to 60 THOUSAND dollars). You have to be in shape, take courses on equipment, technique, routes and survival. You have to spend two to three years taking regular climbs at high altitude to prepare yourself. You have to go to the doctor to make sure that your arteries and veins are in great shape to withstand the climb. eHow.com describes Everest in this way…
“It can vanquish those who disrespect it, and mercilessly test those who honor it. Yet Everest is indifferent to your presence. Climb it and you will receive a lifetime dose of humility and exhilaration.”
So why am I writing about Everest? Am I planning on taking a climb and am writing to ask for donations? Ummm… let me think… NO! 🙂 But in relation to a sermon that I heard, it was the only mountain that I felt even came close in comparison.A while back, I heard a sermon on Caleb, one of the spies sent out by Moses to scout out the Promised Land. In the land there was this mountain. The story is found in Joshua 14 where Caleb goes to Joshua and asks for what is rightfully his in the inheritance. Apparently the Israelites had conquered the entire land EXCEPT this mountain. It was scary, there were mighty and fierce warriors embedded in the mountain, waiting to demolish anyone who threatened their territory. Caleb, though he was 85 years old, wants that mountain. Why? Because…
“I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.” (Joshua 14:11-12)
He knew the Lord’s promise was true and he faithfully followed Him. This task was insurmountable and I can’t help but think that the younger warriors standing there maybe thought he was a fool for taking on this mission. So he goes, he conquers, and then sends out men to conquer more! He didn’t just stop with the mountain and call it good, he really took the Lord at his word and went above and beyond!
Now how about us? I was at Bair Lake Bible Camp this summer and I experienced something that I had never experienced before. Christianity lived out in mass quantity. I’m not saying that my church is not full of Christians living out the Christian life, but this was different. At home I am in a community that is quick to judge, easily offended, and rather vengeful. At Bair Lake, I saw potential for disaster in an atmosphere where not everything is perfect and you expect squabbles between workers because we live together for weeks! Even with the potential being there, above all things there was love. There was a humbleness. We all knew that we were not perfect, and therefore never belittled someone else or ragged on them mercilessly because of their mistake. It really felt like we were all in it together. I felt uplifted, encouraged, and loved.
During my quiet time one day I realized my current mission field was home. I am not afraid to leave home or even leave the United States, but I really feel that God has a mission for me right now, where I am. To bring that atmosphere to Indian River. Even a glimpse can attract a crowd. I can’t help but wonder if that isn’t the kind of atmosphere that Jesus provided, and therefore people flocked to see Him and experience the unconditional love that we are commanded to show.
So what’s your Everest? It’s different for everyone… God promises to be faithful to those who seek after Him. If it’s His will… we can’t lose!!! Victory is already ours, if only we will claim it. So what’s it gonna be? Will we be a Caleb? Or the snotty young warriors snickering at a faith that can conquer mountains?
“…the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.”