Mountains and Children

by Susan Sampson

I’m sitting here reviewing my lecture notes and thankfully see the note of what to say to myself when I feel like I’m getting ready to lose it:


Of course I had already forgotten that Laurie said that just yesterday.  Thank you, Lord, for giving me the responsibility and privilege of writing the weekly email which causes me to have to review my notes — you know how weak I truly am and how easily your words go in one ear and out the other.  Please help me hear you and learn and take your truth and apply it to my own heart.  I could have used this reminder as I woke this morning from a terrible nightmare, and then as my children woke later and began bombarding me with questions as simple as, “What’s for breakfast?” and as we made a feeble attempt at doing a morning devotion with our Ambassador’s of Christ book when all of our flesh was balking big time.  And this is all before noon!  Praising God for His grace upon grace.  Thank you, Lord, that you do not judge us based on our performance!  Thank you, Jesus, for going to the cross in my place.  Thank you for fulfilling the law perfectly for me.

Oh how I see more and more how desperately I need you, Lord.  The visual image Laurie gave us of Mt. Everest was so helpful.  That is exactly how I feel!  And then this morning it occurred to me that I have 3 children so I have to climb Mt. Everest, Kilimanjaro, and Fuji!  Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the gift of your Holy Spirit.  You have not left us alone. You dwell within us.  This morning I was in tears, beginning to fall to the weight of it all and feeling that I was giving in to the temptation to be overwhelmed.  BUT — I cried out to the Lord and He heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the pit of despair!

Remember how Laurie told us that it does no good for our children to put them in a backpack and then proceed to climb the mountain perfectly?  This was something I definitely needed to hear.  The Lord encouraged me sweetly this morning as I thought about this.  We are not to carry our children, but to come alongside our children as servants and ambassadors.  However, it is the Lord who carries each one of us.  “He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young” (Is. 40:11).  And also Deut. 33:27 says, “The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” 

Jesus speaks the truth, “But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible'” (Mat. 19:26).  

The Lord has chosen and appointed us to be His ambassadors.  We represent Him here on earth.  To be the one chosen from all of the citizens of the United States of America to be the ambassador to any country is a huge honor that very few receive.  The honor we have been given is so far greater!

Thankfully we are all walking this journey together.  We are not alone.  Let us together work out our salvation with fear and trembling and look to Christ to enable us by His grace and power to battle in putting our flesh to death so that the Spirit comes alive within us and our children no longer see us, but see Christ in us.  Remember, the Lord looks at our heart, not our performance.

Take time this week, prayerfully depending on the Lord’s wisdom and grace, and come up with 3-5 simple household non-negotiables that have consequences already thought through and discuss them with your children and post them.  If you are like me, your flesh is not going to want to do this and will find every excuse in the book.  Lord, we need you. Please enable us to climb the mountain one step at a time, looking to Christ, the Author and Perfector of our faith!

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