“Dear God, thank you.  I can’t imagine being here navigating this life without you.  Life’s a bit scary now and some of us need a miracle like yesterday.  You said don’t be anxious but it seems you’re cutting it close and we really don’t know what to do. So today can you remember us, not that you forget; and just somehow, like you did with your  disciples, provide for us what we need in order to move forward, but also to trust you. It’s you we need, it’s you we want, and we need you to even help us sometimes hold on. Please, open our hearts and minds to take joy in what you’re doing and have done. You really are marvelous in our eyes!“

“What a wonderful thing you are doing

And it’s marvelous in our eyes

 By your power and love you are moving

And it’s marvelous in our eyes

Hallelujah hallelujah,it’s is marvelous in our eyes

Hallelujah hallelujah, it is marvelous in our eyes!”

I love this Cece Winan song.  I’m listening to it this morning while I’m walking down a hill after struggling for the second day to walk up without stopping. I don’t feel badly because it’s not easy for my daughter either. (Working out in the gym has not prepared me for this!)  But once again, we made it!  Three more days then we can take a one day break and start over next week more equipped, more able to conquer! 

As I travel down the path listening to the song, and looking over the vast array of mountains overlooking the city, it occurs to me how marvelous God really is; marvelous because it seems no matter how steep the hill may be, not only am I beginning to conquer it, but things are happening in me that I don’t yet fully grasp.  I wonder what this workout is really doing for me.  Based on medical studies, it is said, that exercise greatly improves your mood and decreases feelings of anxiety and depression.  Of course it can help with weight loss. It strengthens your bones and muscles.  It increases your energy levels.  It reduces your risk of chronic disease.  Wow!  All this from walking up a mountain, or running on a treadmill; or whatever exercise works for you. 

It’s not just this literal miles of hills and mountains, but the life “mountains” we

constantly face.  It’s the mornings where we don’t want to get out of bed or the lonely nights where we sometimes hope we don’t have to wake up to another day period, anticipating only what we faced the day before. It’s the money running out long before the month, and the never ending emotional pain from a child you no longer recognize, and you don’t know how to fix him or her.  It’s the loneliness from loss in death or divorce, a job, or home.  Its finding out the cancer has returned with a stinking vengeance.  It’s finding yourself single and whispered about, no longer being invited out by friends.  It’s the inability to get work no matter how hard you try and the judgement that comes with it.  It’s all the things right now you’re going through wondering where in the world is this God you thought you knew, and expect to “fix” mess.  Yet, every day as He wakes us up,  He wakes us up stronger, wiser, able to navigate through the day ahead, if we ask.  And we don’t always realize it until one day, you respond to that mountain much differently than you would have prior to those heart wrenching experiences.

You see, he is fixing; strengthening us to  endure until our end, and preparing us for his Kingdom.  God’s desire for us is heaven, His will is for us to be one with him.  Unfortunately without those mountains, without those hurts,  pains, sufferings and tests, we can’t be changed inside to live with him or be one with him.  As I hike up this mountain day by day conquering one section of miles after the other, what’s happening in me is the key!   It’s not easy, it’s not fun. It’s steep, winding, rocky dusty and now with all this rain, muddy paths.  But day by day we come back because I can honestly feel the difference, and the challenge is something I can’t ignore. 

I remember the first few days hiking up, I had to literally pray. Seriously, I began repeating words to songs on Spotify and praying He’d help me make it and guess what...I did!  Each day I needed less and less rest time until one day I didn’t have to stop at all.  Now don’t get it twisted, I was still huffing and puffing, but I made it without stopping and then we began to go beyond the initial stopping point! 

Life is a challenge and we can not be wimps!  Really.  Listen, today, you’re going to make it. Monday is here and I don’t know what lies ahead for this week.  But we are somehow, someway, with God’s promise of help, going to make it. He’s doing a great things in us, as well as for us, and He won’t stop till we’re done!  Be blessed, be encouraged and keep on climbing!  

Happy Monday!

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