DayBreaks for 09/24/12 – Getting Bigger

DayBreaks for 09/24/12 – Getting Bigger

What is your Mt. Everest spiritually speaking?  By asking that question, I’m really asking you what is your biggest challenge to reaching the pinnacle of God’s design and desire for you personally?  Is it a hidden, secret sin that fills you with shame and guilt (or which you know should fill you with shame and guilt, but you’ve done it so long and so often that it no longer causes you to feel anything)?  Is it pride?  Is it a love of money or security?  Is it a relationship that you know isn’t good or healthy, but you can’t bring yourself to leave that relationship behind?

After every failure (at least in the beginning) we beg God for forgiveness and pledge to Him that “I’ll never do that again!”  (If I had a nickel for every time I’ve said that…!)  And then we, by our own will-power, set out to not sin that way again…and it lasts for maybe a couple of days or a week or two at most.  Then that temptation, that Mt. Everest, is right there outside the door again, knocking at our minds, prying at our hearts, tugging at our desires.

George Mallory was the famed mountain climber who may have been the first person ever to get to the top of Mount Everest.  In the early 1920’s, he led a number of attempts to scale the mountain, eventually being killed in the 3rd attempt in 1924.  Before that last and fatal attempt, Mallory said, “I can’t see myself coming down defeated.”

Mallory was an extraordinary climber, and nothing would force him to give up.  His body was found in 1999, well preserved by the snow and ice, 27,000 feet up on the mountain, just 2000 feet from the peak.  Give up he did not.  His body was found face down on a rocky slope, head toward the summit.  His arms were extended high over his head.  His toes were pointed into the mountain; his fingers dug into the loose rock, refusing to let go even as he drew his last breath.  A short length of cotton rope – broken – was looped around his waist.

When those who had set up camp for Mallory further down the mountain returned to England a banquet was held for them.  A huge picture of Mt. Everest stood behind the banquet table, it is said that the leader of the group stood to be applauded, and with tears streaming down his face, turned and looked at the picture.  “I speak to you, Mt. Everest, in the name of all brave men living and those yet unborn,” he said.  “Mt. Everest, you defeated us once; you defeated us twice; you defeated us three times.  But Mt. Everest we shall someday defeat you, because you can’t get any bigger but we can.”

Even the greatest struggles, the greatest obstacles to a life of faith, can be overcome through the Spirit’s power.  The problem we have is that we give up too easily.  We need to never give up – to keep digging our fingers into the rock, face upward, to never stop striving for the pinnacle.

In 1953 two climbers, Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzig Norgay, reached the top of Mt. Everest and their names are written in history.  Someday, by the sheer grace of God, we shall reach the summit and our name will be found in the Book of Life.

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. – Phil. 3:14

PRAYER: Lord, help me keep my face toward You as I look for that high calling and struggle to live up to it!  Don’t let us give in to defeat and despair, for the victory is Yours and You have chosen to share it with us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks 2/28/11 – Propped Up on the Leanin’ Side

DayBreaks for 2/28/11 – Propped Up on the Leanin’ Side

Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.- Luke 6:47-49, ESV

Battered by the storms...

A good friend sent this to me, and I thought it was well worth posting.  I unfortunately don’t know the author’s name:

“Every time I am asked to pray, I think of the old fellow who always prayed, ‘Lord, prop us up on our leanin’ side.’ After hearing him pray that prayer many times, someone asked him why he prayed that prayer so fervently.

“He answered, ‘Well sir, you see, it’s like this…. I got an old barn out back. It’s been there a long time; it’s withstood a lot of weather; it’s gone through a lot of storms, and it’s stood for many years.

“It’s still standing. But one day I noticed it was leaning to one side a bit.

“So I went and got some pine poles and propped it up on its leaning side so it wouldn’t fall.

“Then I got to thinking about that and how much I was like that old barn.  I’ve been around a long time…I’ve withstood a lot of life’s storms. I’ve withstood a lot of bad weather in life, I’ve withstood a lot of hard times, and I’m still standing too.

“But I find myself leaning to one side from time to time, so I like to ask the Lord to prop us up on our leaning side, ’cause I figure a lot of us get to leaning at times.

“Sometimes we get to leaning toward anger, leaning toward bitterness leaning toward hatred, leaning toward cussing, leaning toward a lot of things that we shouldn’t . So we need to pray, ‘Lord, prop us up on our leaning side, so we will stand straight and tall again, to glorify the Lord.”

Galen’s Thoughts: One of the unpredictable things about storms is which way the wind will blow.  Most places have a prevailing wind that puts pressure on the side of buildings and trees that makes them lean in a downwind direction.  Those are the kinds of winds that we have grown familiar with all our lives: the particular temptation that plagues you, the hurts that seem to recur over and over and over.  Then, every once in a while, the wind shifts direction and catches us off balance.  We don’t expect it – we find an unexpected pressure beating on us.  Perhaps it is in those moments that we are even more in perilous straits.  It doesn’t really matter where the storm comes from.  What does matter is the foundation and support we have when it strikes.  It does no good to prop yourself up with 2×2’s when you need a steel pole.  Jesus is the one support guaranteed to never collapse or fail you, no matter how strongly the winds beat against you.

If you stare at the picture of the barn for a bit, you will see Who will help us stand straight and tall again. Do You See HIM?  (I don’t know who made up the picture, or I’d give them credit for it, too.)

PRAYER: God, it seems like there has been an abundance of storms and strong winds lately sweeping across our lives and across the world.  At times we are tempted to think that everything is going to come crashing down, taking us with it.  Help us to remember that it is not “what” that holds us up, but “Who.”  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2011, Galen C. Dalrymple  ><}}}”>

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