Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I’m a pretty good hiker.

I did just fine on my 17-mile hike this past summer, thank you very much!

There’s just one thing – I’m a TERRIBLE uphill climber.

I get all sweaty (oh, that’s right – women don’t sweat – OK, so I get all "glowy"). I huff and I puff. I get a side ache. I get hot and bothered. I complain. I stop…a lot.

Not a pretty picture, huh?

Downhill, I’m Mt. Everest material. I often breeze past "The Hub" – with a spring in my step and a rather self-satisfied smirk on my face. I’ve even been known to stop at the bottom of the hill and look at my watch…

"Hmm, where have you been?" I’ll ask him sweetly.

Flat hiking? Yup, pretty good at that, too. I can go for long distances, a little out of breath from time to time – but able to hide that from "The Hub." (Pride, thy name is me…)

But once a dreaded incline appears on the horizon…


My heart beats faster, just in anticipation.

I’m not good at uphill.

It’s the same way with life.

Oh, I’m just great at going downhill. When everything’s a breeze. When things seem to flow, and unfold so amazingly perfect, that it’s like I’m coasting through life. I can skip, I can jump, I can run ahead and look back at Jesus – "Hmmm, where have You been?"

Terrific at the flat parts, too. When everything’s status quo. When things seem to flow, and move so predictably, that it’s like I’m floating through life. I step along evenly, a little out of breath from time to time – but able to hide that from Jesus.

But once a dreaded incline appears on the horizon…


I have to start to climb.

Sometimes it feels like I’m climbing a mud mountain.

Slippery, mucky, nowhere to get a good grip or sturdy foothold. Often, I’m taking one step forward, and two (or three or four or ten) steps back.


Never making progress. Huffing and puffing in spiritual exhaustion. I get a heartache. I get hot and bothered. I complain. I stop…a lot.

I look up at Jesus…

"Where have You been?"

Climbing a mud mountain.

It’s so silly, really. Trying to climb alone. Slipping down – making no progress. Complaining. Stopping…a lot.

Isn’t it time we take a look at Jesus and say, "Where have I been?"

Ask for His help.

He’ll climb down to meet you. He’ll grab your hand in His. And before you know it, you’ll be making your way uphill.

A mud mountain…

It’s not so tough when you’re climbing with Him.

He’s the Sturdy Foothold…

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”


  1. Hi Sharon,
    You are right it is not so hard when you are climbing with Him. Why do we so often try to go it alone? Thank you for your visit and comment on my blog. I Praise God if my sharing openly and making myself feel more vunerable than usual, helps just one person. I dont find it easy to share and afterwards I sometimes regret it, but if God has a purpose, then who am I to question it. God Bless - Nita.

  2. Dear Sharon, With all the 'mud' here after the floods it has felt like climbing a mud mountain on a walking machine. Praise God, we are climbing higher - even on the slippery slope. I hope your week has got off to a good start. With love and care from Kerrie. xOx

  3. And when climbing that mud mountain sometimes I forget to bring the Lord with me - then - later on - I ask him where he was! Sandie

  4. Sharon you are describing my spiritual life right now. Everything from the outside seems flat and easy, but inside of me God has been directing me up the hardest mountains!

    Also, I loved your inward dialogue. You made me laugh!

  5. I love this! You got me all goose-bump-y! I think your analogy works as well for the times when things are going so great that we tend to puff up and pat ourselves on the back when the glory goes to God in those moments more than any other. But yes...that mud mountain? I'm "climbing" it right now...or attempting to anyway. I think you've given me a not-so-subtle reminder for how to make it the rest of the way up!

    Hope you're having a fabulous week! <3

  6. Nita - I know that on several occasions you have really helped me. So yes, God uses your voice indeed! As to why we so often try to climb alone - I don't know WHY we do that!! It just makes things SO much harder, doesn't it?

    Kerrie - Oh my friend! How glad I am to hear from you again, and to know that you are all safe. I liked your comment - climbing a mud mountain on a walking machine!! LOL! And I loved how you said that EVEN on a slippery slope, we can climb higher with our Lord! AMEN!

    Sandie - Why is it so easy to forget the Lord when the climbing gets tough? Do we think He's a mountain "wimp"?? I have a picture of Him saying to me, "Why do you have so LITTLE faith?" After all, He told us that mustard seed faith could MOVE mountains. Hmmm... Where are you, Lord - we cry out. He answers - Right here, all along...

    Alisa - Yes, this is what's going on with me, too. Internal battles - and boy oh boy, are they tough. Sometimes I'm convinced that the enemy has a rope around my foot, trying to drag me backwards! But Jesus moves forward, and if I keep holding on to Him, I'll go forward, too! (Always glad to give you a chuckle...)

    GOD BLESS, friends! Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Jennie - I just overlapped your comment! Great minds think alike? (Or stink alike? It's one or the other...) I agree with your assessment - that we can get all proud about "our" progress or accomplishments. That's when the slope gets REALLY slippery. What is it about our human nature that wants to take credit when things are going great, but wants to blame someone else when things are not? I think it's called pride...

    I think you're doing a fine job on your "climb" - and I know that you're turning to Jesus for His help and guidance. Keep climbing!!


  8. Hi Sharon -

    Or we can opt for an alternative route and say the words of JESUS from Mark 11:23, "For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith."

    Thank you, Sharon, for sharing your mountain adventure.

  9. Climbing uphill is never easy when we climb alone. But God is in the business of moving mountains! He'll show us the path if we look to Him for guidance and strength.

    Living for Him, Joan

  10. Look at all the mountain climbers who got here before me. That's pretty typical in my real life too, unfortunately.

    I relate to this one entirely TOO well, Sharon. I tend to see the mountain, and frankly, all I see is the mud. I'm not fond of slipping so I just stand stock still and stare at the thing.

    Convicting. I obviously need to change my focus from the mud of the mountain to the Man of the Mountain.

  11. Dear Sharon,
    I can't tell you how often your posts hit the nail right on the head or are so specific they seem to be written for me. I'd like to share a personal story with you. My email address is on my profile if you have the time! I look forward to more Marty tales too!

  12. Sandra - YES! God can absolutely MOVE the mountain! Faith on the journey, and a heart completely committed to our Lord - will make the biggest mountains into molehills!!

    Joan - God's guidance and strength - His rod and His staff - that's what will lead us into the right pathways. We must view "mountains" from God's perspective. We (me) all too often look at the arduous climb - God sees the destination!

    Debbie - Love what you said! Jesus is the ULTIMATE Mountain Man! Hey, I know what you meant, too, about sometimes just standing still. Sometimes that is EASIER than risking a climb - and slipping. But God can't move us until we move! We're studying Jonah right now in my Bible Study, and God is telling us the same thing He told Jonah...Arise AND Go!!

    Anita - Thank you for that lovely comment. What God says to us is just SO relevant, isn't it? I sent you an email - I would LOVE to hear the story. I've been thinking about another Marty tale, too. He is a fount of fun and insight!! Will let you know when another post percolates into written form! :)



"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)