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Uphill Battles

Here is a really brief "good word" spoken to my heart last week as I took a bike ride on a beautiful morning.

God often speaks to me through nature. Also, there seems to be a real "connection" for some reason as I ride my bike around a small lake near our house. We live in a very hilly area, and there happens to be this HUGE hill that I need to climb in order to get back to our house from the lake. God often speaks to me on that hill. Maybe because it is such a challenging and steep hill, my mind naturally seems to turn to Him for help.

That morning was no different. The ride had been a beautiful one. I rode around the lake quickly though, because I didn't have a whole lot of "extra" time on that day to go off on little "excursions" as I love to do when time permits. So here I was facing that hill once more. Spiritually, I often associate this hill with the "challenging" aspects of my life. Lately, there have been a lot of those challenges in many areas. God has been faithful in encouraging me to continue on, even when things have looked "too hard" ... like I'm facing an "uphill battle" (pun intended :).

The nicest thing about this hill, though, is that there's this wonderful little stream running down the side of it, that runs from the more mountainous areas, feeding the lake. It is so refreshing to put my focus on the beauty of that stream, and have my attention turn away from the steepness of the hill.

So that morning, this was the beautiful little word I heard: Sometimes it is in the most "difficult" and "steep" areas of our life, where we can sense the presence and beauty of God the most noticeably. As I was riding and enduring the challenge and pain of the hill, here's what my heart was experiencing ... The scent in the springtime air was amazing. It was the morning after a rain fall, and the mountain air was refreshing and enchanting ... The sound of the stream was like music as it flowed joyfully to its destination ... The stream was beautiful to see, as the sunlight streamed through the trees along the banks.

So here was my choice. I could either focus on how difficult the ride was, struggling to endure every minute; or I could focus on the beauty and wonder that surrounded me, thanking God for all He has made; and for His presence and strength that sustains me in all He has called me to "do".

I chose the latter ... and before I knew it, I was at the top of the hill.

May He make all your rough places like a plain.

May 13, 2004

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