The hill was steep. My bike was pointed up the path, but I wasn't convinced I'd be able to make it to the top. I was tempted to backtrack and get to our destination via an easier route. Avoiding the ridiculous incline altogether. But with my husband, Steve's, encouragement, we slowly but surely biked up the path that led to the horticultural center. It was worth the effort.
I love Callaway Gardens. Situated on 13,000 acres, this resort complex boasts beautiful foliage and wonderful paths to explore whether on foot or bicycle. The Gardens are special to me. Steve and I celebrated an anniversary here. We brought our daughter and some of her friends here to celebrate a birthday. When family has visited, we've brought them to Callaway to enjoy the idyllic setting. Without exception, we've found it well worth the two-hour drive.
Life is full of challenges. Steep hills often loom in the distance, tempting me to look for a route of less resistance. As a writer, I sometimes get overwhelmed with the realization that writing a book isn't easy. Researching and writing takes time. What will set my work apart from the scores of other writers intent on publication? The hill seems to get steeper.
I'm reminded of the children of Israel, poised to enter the Promised Land. The Lord had faithfully guided their steps with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. He was with them each step of the way. Although there were giants in the land of Canaan, the Lord had given them a promise, "Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them, " (Deuteronomy 1:8; KJV). There was work to be done, but the Lord had given them the land. He would fight for them if they would step forward in obedience.
Focusing on the giants, and their own meager strength, the children of Israel chose to give in to their fears rather than trust their mighty God. A big mistake. That generation ended up wandering in the desert for forty long years and being denied entry into the Promised Land.
I have a choice to make as well. The Lord has guided me along this path of writing and is giving me glimpses of the journey ahead. I know it won't be easy, and many steep hills remain for me to climb. If I only focus on my fears and the things I can accomplish in my own strength, I'll be making a colossal mistake. The Lord intends for me to rely on Him, draw on His strength, and continue to work toward the goal He's placed before me. Inevitably, I'll still face the steep hills, but by trusting His plan for my life, I'll continue on to the top. No matter how ridiculous the inclines, I'm convinced that when I look back on my writers' journey, I'll know it was well worth the effort!
What 'steep hills' are you facing today? Are you relying on your own strength to make it to the top? Are you trusting God to make it to your 'Promised Land'?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for this life You've given me. I praise You for guiding me each step of the way. Forgive me for failing to follow You when the road gets difficult. Help me to reach my full potential by staying focused on You, and the task You've placed before me. Thank You for the encouragement found in Your Word. In Jesus' name, Amen.