I loved hiking in the French Vosges mountains. Most of the trails we chose were gentle and easy. But for those rare occasions when we chose a more difficult trail, switchbacks, whether by foot or by car, are my least favorite option. Certainly it is better to climb switchbacks than trying to go straight up. But the progress is slower. It can be very demotivating to cover what looks to be the same ground with the same view as I double back over and over.
Today’s verse is an encouragement to continue on doing good. Even if our path requires pain and suffering, we are to remain committed to our faithful loving Creator. Suffering according to God’s will is suffering the Lord allows for a particular purpose. It makes the climb slower and more difficult but the view from the top can be magnificent!
My lessons in suffering can feel like switchbacks, going over and over ground I thought I already covered! My progression almost feels like one step forward and two steps back. But in fact, God is using those hard times to slowly transform me. He is faithful to use that pain for good. I am confident that I am progressing to higher ground where my view of Him becomes clearer and more unobstructed. He has promised to continue His good work until the day of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:6). In His grace, He uses every difficulty to bring me into a tighter closer relationship with Him. Whatever suffering He allows, He does not want me to sit down and give up. In persevering, I will receive what He has promised (Heb. 10:36).
Lord, keep me climbing!