It wasn’t pretty.
Well, the scenery was amazing, but my form was less than graceful as I clung my way up the mountain. I didn’t care what I looked like. I simply didn’t want to fall off the mountain tumbling to my death.
Therefore, when we reached the part of the 8 hour hike up the mountain (4 up and 4 down) that involved climbing over slippery wet rocks through a small waterfall, my husband and kids already on the other side, I chose the safest way to continue.
I literally got on all fours.
But before I crawled to the other side, before I forced myself to push through my fears, I really wanted to quit.
“I can’t do this!” screamed the voice inside my head. Actually, I think I used my outside voice. I’ve never been so afraid to do anything. This was worse than jumping off the high diving board when I was 8 years old.
But I didn’t want to quit.
I knew I had come this far, and I couldn’t turn around.
So I gritted my teeth, used all available appendages to steady my ascent, and climbed through pounding icy cold water.
I cannot begin to put into words what pushing through my fear did for my soul that day.
Ernest Hemingway said, “Courage is grace under pressure.”
My courage didn’t look graceful that day. But I’ve no doubt that it was Grace that got me to the other side.
God’s empowering Grace.
“May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God the Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage you in every good word and deed.” (2 Thess. 2:16)
Years ago I was infatuated with the topic of grace.
I prayed to be graceful (physically) and gracious to the people in my life. I prayed to better understand God’s grace.
This is Google’s 2nd definition, the 1st refers to physical grace:
“the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.”
In my human mind, I kind of “get” the salvation part. [Honestly, I don’t think we can fully wrap our minds around this mystery.] But I discovered years ago when I was stuck on understanding grace better, as I prayed and read books about it and did Bible studies, I began to be aware of an everyday kind of favor. This was a practical, daily grace (or favor) that God would grant if I just asked.
“God, I need your grace.”
I would pray this when I couldn’t get a jar lid open.
…when I didn’t know how to counsel a hurting friend.
…when my children were not behaving, and I needed wisdom to handle the situation.
And always, always, I experienced His favor–strength to open the jar,
…words or silent tears for my friend, \
…and appropriate discipline when I really just wanted to beat my children.
I don’t remember if I thought of praying for His grace the other day when I climbed through the waterfall up that mountain. But I have no doubt that it was my God who I live for everyday who gave me the courage and stability to maneuver to the other side.
Last week I gave you a prayer challenge. I wrote about 2 prayers that have been life changing to me.
- “Lord, help me love you more.”
- “Lord, help me trust you.”
I wrote about writing a book incorporating your testimonies after praying these prayers for 6 months. I need to add this prayer to the book.
[tweetability]”Lord, I need your grace.”[/tweetability]
What I’m really praying is, “I need your favor in this situation. I need your strength, wisdom, courage, insight, control, ________________________.”
Really, I’m just praying,
“I need You.”
I’m facing a couple of glorious proverbial mountains in the next few months, and I’m scared. What if I fall? What if I don’t make it over the slippery rocks through the water pouring down? I need courage.
I’m getting on my hands and knees. It may not be pretty getting there. But I’m praying for His grace, His favor, His Presence to give me courage and help me climb…to continue on this hike.
The best part about this prayer is that I won’t just have courage, “grace under pressure” as Hemingway masterfully wrote it.
I’ll have Him.
I do have Him.
And no matter what mountain you’re climbing, so. do. you.
How can I be praying for you? Leave a comment or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on my Andy Lee (Author) Facebook page–our page of fellowship.
At the same time, I covet your prayers as I prepare for some conferences coming up where I’ll be speaking, and I’ll be completing a manuscript of a Bible study on Ruth due to AMG Publishers November 1!
Don’t give up on your dreams. Don’t stop climbing. Pray for His Grace.