To be a successful mountain climber, sure-footing helps. Navigation skills, having the correct equipment and supplies, climbing skills and sheer determination also play a major role. Sure-footing gives the climber the confidence to reach the most treacherous heights, in the midst of some of the most extreme circumstances.
We may see a successful climb as reaching the summit, a sign of our sure-footing. However, it is not always the reaching the summit that is the most important task. Many times our sure-footing is needed in greater ways along the journey. Perhaps it is needed to engage in an event that helps tell an even greater story, a story giving people hope or inspiration.
Just ask the 24-year-old man from Israel who tried to climb Mount Everest in early 2012. Nadav Ben Yehuda attempted to become the youngest Israeli to ever reach the summit of Mount Everest, and all signs pointed to this being a successful venture as he climbed to about 300 yards from the top.
With the top clearly in sight and all the glory sure to come, Yehuda encountered something unexpected. He saw a man lying unconscious in the snow, and decided to pass up his chance on reaching the top to save this man’s life. Yehuda picked up the injured climber and carried him for more than eight hours to safety. In the process, Yehuda stripped off his gloves to get a better grip on the man as he carried him, resulting in frostbite to his fingers. Because of this young man’s heroics, he received Israel’s Presidential Medal of Honor.
This is an obvious, modern-day good Samaritan parable, especially given the fact the injured climber was Turkish, and there remains a strained relationship between the countries of Israel and Turkey.
In the midst of life’s journey, we will face harsh and difficult circumstances. The point is not to remove ourselves from those circumstances, run away from them, give up or even try fixing our circumstances so that we can get to the top and be comfortable. No, the point is trusting in something much bigger than ourselves. It’s resting in the hands of an almighty God and finding our strength, our sure-footedness, in him. When we do that, we begin to have a joy, confidence and peace in some of life’s most treacherous conditions. Not only that, we help lead others to peace in difficult times.
In the Old Testament book of Habakkuk, we read something that serves as an incredible reminder about the trust one should have in God, and how with that trust, comes confidence, joy, and peace in the midst of difficult times.
Habakkuk 3:17-19 reads: “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.”
The same is true for us. God makes our feet able to climb on great heights, not just to overcome our circumstances, but also to be lifesavers, to help lead others to great places. Don’t let circumstances steal your joy. Realize the strength God gives. Realize the heights God equips you to climb. Realize the people God wants you to rescue along that climb.