Looking Forward to Joy
By Katia Salame
What is the joy set before you?
For one reason or another, difficulties are going to cross your way in life. Sometimes they will stand in your path like a big mountain, yet their enormous presence fails to belittle your desire to cross over.
You might discover that you have no ropes and have no climbing experience to begin with, not to mention your fear of heights. You might find out that faith in God does not automatically generate faith in oneself, to speak words of miraculous power that move a mountain and throw it in the sea, even though your mountain might already be half way into the sea.
While your eyes are determinably set on the other side of the mountain and your soul is desperately holding on to the hope that behind this massive, steep-sided, rocky elevation there is livable ground, you might want to accept a simple reality: “some summits are not meant to be conquered from above” and the only way to have them at your back is either to turn your back and go the opposite direction, or to go around them.
Turning your back to your mountain is definitely a “moving on” step but mostly towards defeat, for the shadow of your mountain will be ahead of you with every sunset. Conquering your mountain by going around it is a journey that requires strength, patience, and lots of provisions for the long walk, a walk towards victory. That victory might not be accomplished according to your rules and might not be done merely for your satisfaction, yet it will always be your victory because you have marched your mountain away and set it behind you.
Your mountain could be as simple as failing to maintain a relationship, or as rigid as surviving the loss of a loved one; nevertheless it deepens its roots down and stands tall in the middle of your life, blocking the joy and the peace, and even at a certain point, making life itself lay at the threshold of your heart -- powerless, begging you for another chance.
You do want to overcome your mountain but you only see it happening your way, from the top down.
Jesus Himself didn’t have it His way. He did want reconciliation between God and men, He did want victory over Satan and death, and He certainly could’ve conquered His mountain from above, yet “…fell with His face to the ground and prayed, 'My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.' " (Mathew 26:39)
Jesus came down and marched His mountain into “the lake of burning sulfur." He overcame the mountain that separated us from Him yet, on the journey, there was the sacrifice of the cross awaiting the King of kings; and there was the shame of sin awaiting the Holy and Righteous One [“...Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2)].
Find the joy set before you, journey around your mountain and, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…” (Hebrews 12: 2).
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