As I was trekking across the White Mountain Wilderness this past weekend, I was in the anchor position. I usually chose this position in the group for the basic reason of being able to encourage those who may potentially be falling behind the rest of the group. I have hiked this trail many times and I knew the awesome wonder that these hikers were going to see! I started to get anxious to see the view again and almost started to pass some of the slower hikers so I could experience the beauty. But I stopped as I noticed some of the hikers were getting tired and discouraged. It is hard to keep on going when the trail is steep and you have no idea of how much further you have to go and you aren't even sure it is something you want to finish! I shared with the other hikers the beauty they would see when they reached the top and encouraged them. They found it within themselves to keep going. Once we hit the summit, they shared how it was so worth the effort they put in to reach the top!
As we journey on our Christ life, we go through hills and valleys. In Philippians 3:12-14, Paul wrote, "Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect: but I press on, if so be that I may lay hold on that for which also I was laid hold on by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself yet to have laid hold: but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Paul was encouraging us to keep on going!
Hebrews 12:1-2 also says "Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." We all have friends and loved ones who have already joined Jesus in Heaven. My mom, dad and brother are there. They are experiencing the vastness and awesomeness of Jesus' presence and glory!! They are encouraging me to 'press on' as they have already hit the 'summit' and have seen what I am hoping to see one day!
Likewise there are those in our faith families that have already walked where we are currently walking and they have seen the reward of keeping the faith and staying close to the Lord. As a faith family, we should be encouraging those around us who are going through valleys where we have already been and share with them the joy of hitting the summit on the other side!
Take heart and Press on!