Never having lived around mountains, they hold a special sense of beauty and awe to me. So of course, when asked by friends who hiked to join them I immediately said “Yes”. My friends and I started the hike laughing and pointing out the grand majesty of God’s creation but within a few hundred steep feet I began breathing hard. Thinking of myself as being physically fit, the strain did not shake my determination to continue up the trail through Camelback Mountain. Then, I saw the first great incline and I thought, “oh no I can’t go up that!” My loving sisters in Christ came alongside me and spoke inspiration and hope into my heart. They reminded me that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13) and that I just need to take one step at a time. God’s truths and their encouragement gave me the will to take a breath with each step and not look ahead except to the next rock. They continued with this pattern of encouragement 3 more times as I faced each foreboding steep challenge. And at the last 200 feet when I was starting to doubt their truthfulness, a woman on her way down insisted that I not give up because it would be worth the view from the top and before I knew it I was at the top smiling and cheering.
When I was younger, I used to wonder about the future and even wished I could somehow see into the future. Now I realize that If God had given me that ability, I may have shied away from many wonderful blessings because there were a lot of heartaches to go through before receiving them….just like the hike up Camelback Mountain. If I had seen those 3 steep inclines from the bottom I may have been discouraged and never tried to climb up thinking that it was not something that I could do. God is so good like that, He gives us just enough vision ahead to help us focus on the next step but not enough insight into the future so that we will not be discouraged by the challenges that lie ahead. His word reminds us not to worry about tomorrow.
It is not enough not to know the future, because there will be times in life when what we face seems insurmountable and it may be in our own strength but we are reminded that He even goes before us and He never leaves us or forsakes us. He also sends us people who are His ambassadors to help guide and encourage us along the way. People who have received His comfort in the past and therefore can comfort us in our time of need. We were not meant to live on our own. God created us to fellowship with Him and others in community. It is only our sense of pride that makes us think that we can do life in this fallen world on our own. We need God and we need fellow believers. When we are strengthened by God and our brothers and sisters in Christ, then we can go out to be salt and light to the unbelieving world. If we are not filling up with nutrition from the True Vine, Jesus, we as His branches will not bear any fruit to offer those that are spiritually starving. We will also be more susceptible to attack by the enemy. Think about Peter, He was so strong when next to Jesus, insisting that He would be willing to die for Him but as soon as Jesus was arrested and he was no longer in Jesus’ presence; Peter denied Jesus 3 times (Matthew 26:31-35 & 26:69-75). Unfortunately for Peter at the time, he did not have the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit as we are privileged to have now. Believers have the gift of the Holy Spirit’s guidance, protection and edification available at all times.
Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:20
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:4