Last weekend, I went hiking with several friends, and halfway up the steep slope, I asked myself the same question I usually do on such hikes: “why on earth did I agree to come?” Stepping through the tall grass, and over barbed wire fences, my only motivation was the hope that it would all be over soon. As I climbed over another fallen fence, I felt a sharp pain in my left hand, and looked down to see that it had been caught in a thornbush. Pulling my hand out, I saw that a few thorns had remained lodged in it. I was then reminded of the crown of thorns that they pressed into the brow of our Lord, and the encouragement that we are given in Hebrews which says, “For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:3)”
I often find my Christian walk to share many similarities with my hiking excursions. The prospect of such an adventure sounds all too promising, and I am eager to cry out as Isaiah did, “Here am I. Send me!” only to realize that the “adventure” which we often envision is not the same sort which the Lord has in mind for us. He never said that the life which He calls us to would be an easy journey, but we can take Him at His word when He tells us, “lo, I am with you always…(Matthew 28:20)” and by realizing that He is our very sustenance as well. When we encounter obstacles and suffering along the way, we are told to “consider Him.” To consider Christ, “who for the joy set before Him endured the cross… (Hebrews 12:2)” And when we finally arrive at the peak, looking down at the view set before us, much like a mother looking down at her newborn child, how trivial indeed do the pain and sufferings of the journey appear in contrast to the joy set before us! It is to this same effect that Paul states confidently, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (Romans 8:18)” So with all this in mind, I brushed the thorns off, and trudged along towards the summit.
Therefore, “let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of faith… (Hebrews 12:1-2)”
Author: Kevin Lee