For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: Hebrews 10:36
The other day I heard a story about someone who was going on a hiking trip. At the beginning of the trip, the sign at the bottom of the mountain said it would take three hours.
This hiker started up the trail, within fifteen minutes sweat was pouring off him. After another few minutes his legs were tired and weak and he was beginning to struggle. This surprised him because he was accustomed to running a few miles each week and was in very good physical shape. Yet, this steep climb was taking its toll.
After thirty minutes he stopped and said to himself; ‘if the next two and a half hours are like this, I will never make it.’ Slowly he moved forward, suddenly he saw a hiker coming down the trail, it was an older man and as the older man looked at him, he seemed to know exactly how he was feeling. The older man glanced his way as he passed him and said ‘you are closer than you think.’
Suddenly this hiker had new strength – new drive and a new passion to make it to the top of the mountain. He made it to the top in about an hour – he was, indeed, closer than he thought. This is how it often is with our spiritual walk as well – we are often closer than we think. At times we could be just a few days or a few steps away from our destination – or our destiny – but we must keep walking.
There are two things in this story I find vital. The first one is that he kept walking. Although he was weary and sweating and thinking he couldn’t make it the rest of the way, he continued walking.
If he had not kept walking, kept moving upward, he would have never made it to the top. It is vital that we continue moving, even when we are weary, even when we want to give up. Even when we don’t think we can make it – we must keep moving, knowing that He who promised is faithful and will cause us to reach our destination. He will not fail you. He will strengthen you – He will encourage you – He will make sure you reach your destiny…if you continue walking.
The second thing I found vital was that someone came along and encouraged him. Someone who had already made that particular journey let him know that he could make it and that he was closer than he thought. It was during that time of encouragement that his second wind came – that his new passion to reach the top kicked in. It was at that time that he received the courage to press on.
It is very important that we have people in our lives who will encourage us. Who will let us know we can make it when the journey gets tough. Someone who will tell us that we have what it takes to make it to the top. We have what it takes to reach our destination, if for no other reason other than the greater One lives in us. We all need someone who will come along and say ‘you are closer than you think…keep walking…you will make it.’
That someone is me. I have come today to tell you ‘you are closer than you think.’ You are going to make it. He will not fail you. He will strengthen you. He will send others across your path to cheer you on.
I know the way seems hard…harder than you thought it would be. I know it sometimes takes much longer than you thought it would. I also know this; He who promised is faithful – He said you were going to the other side and you are going to the other side.
What He promised you…meditate on that promise…because it will be fulfilled…if you keep walking. If you keep moving you will see your Red Sea part – you will see your Promised Land…you will see the fulfillment of your children serving God. You will see your marriage restored. You will see your business flourish. You will see your health and healing spring forth. You will see your debts paid in full. You will see that new car. You will see restoration of all the enemy has stolen from you…just keep walking.
Press on, my friend…you are much closer than you think.