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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Devotion: Overcoming Challenges

This past week, Lindsay and I hiked a 14,000 foot high mountain in
Colorado. The 10 hour, 8 mile hike was one of the more challenge
adventures I have done. There became a point where I was exhausted
but knew I had to keep pushing forward. It was during the final
summit push that I realized the importance of taking on the immediate
challenge in front of me. Rather than focusing on the summit that
loomed far off in the distance, I focused on 5 minute segments.
Rather than calculating the thousands of feet we still had to climb, I
focused on a marker slightly in front of me. Slowly, methodically, I
reached the summit as these segments accumulated.
Often we can get ourselves overwhelmed when we try to plan out what
life will be like in 5 years, or even 5 months from now.

Jesus on the Sermon of the Mount, challenges us when he says, "So do
not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own.
Today's trouble is enough for today." Matthew 6:34. He is telling
his listeners to focus on what is immediately before you, and not to
worry about the summit that looms above you. (Also, notice that Jesus
doesn't diminish the "troubles" in our lives, but acknowledges that
each day holds it's own challenges and troubles).

Therefore, if we push forward, taking small steps—taking on 5 minutes
chunks—over time these will accumulate and we will overcome these
challenges. So if we tackle the things that need our immediate
attention, we can trust God that over time He will lead us through the
highs and lows of life.

What immediate challenges are standing before you? What huge
challenges loom far above you? How can you release those concerns to
God and trust that he is walking with you each step of the way?

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