Life is Hard!

I am a strong believer that God uses everything that happens in life to teach us something about Himself if we will just listen to His Spirit and allow Him to instruct us. Then I search God’s Word to see what God has specifically said regarding what the Spirit has impressed upon my mind.

I am a pen turner and I love to work at my lathe. I have learned many things about life as I work at my lathe. Each step of the process in turning a piece of wood or antler into a pen is painful to the material with which I am working. The process includes cutting, drilling, shaping, sanding, polishing, friction, and pressure. But when the process is complete the material has been transformed; it has new beauty, value, and purpose. Something of little value now has greater value, all because it endured a painful process! Life is full of difficulties and it easy to become overwhelmed. But there is a purpose behind each hardship; they are all part of a process to shape and mold us into some of greater value and purpose. My desire in writing this blog is to encourage and maybe stir up some conversation with the lessons that God has been teaching me through the painful process of life. Life is hard, but God is good. May He continue working His process in my life.

If you are going to read any of my posts be sure to ready "Introduction to Lessons from the Lathe". In that post I lay out the basis for all the other blogs.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Meditations from Belaying at the Rock Wall

I volunteer at a youth camp during the summer, this year one of the assignments that I have been given is to belay at the rock wall. Belaying is defined as "a variety of techniques climbers use to exert friction on a climbing rope so that a falling climber does not fall very far.[1] A climbing partner typically applies friction at the other end of the rope whenever the climber is not moving, and removing the friction from the rope whenever the climber needs more rope to continue climbing." (Wikipedia)

As the climber approaches the wall, he asks, "Belay on?" To which the belayer replies, after insuring that the rope is in the belay device properly, "Belay is on." The climber will then say, "Climbing," to signify that he is about to begin his ascent. And the belayer replies, "Climb on," acknowledging that he is ready to watch the climber climb, take up slack in the rope, and lock it in the belay device as the climber ascends ensuring that, if the climber should lose his hold and fall, he won't fall far. The belayers job is not to pull the climber up the wall, nor can he ensure that the climber will not lose his grip and fall; his job is to make sure that the fall is not to fast or too far so that the climber does not get seriously hurt.

As the climber ascends the wall the belayer watches his progress, giving encouragement and pointing out footholds that the climber can't see. He needs to be attentive at all times. He needs to be on task; he cannot let his mind wander.

What a picture of what God does in our life each day, at every moment of the day! We should begin each morning with our prayer, "Belay on?" God, I am about to start a new day; I know that I am going to face difficulties and challenges. Would You please reassure me of Your presence in my life? To which the scriptures reply, "Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.I will hold you up with my victorious right hand," Isaiah 41:10. We can begin today's ascent knowing that God is always ready, willing and able to help me through anything that I may face.

The climb will not be easy. I will have to find my toe and hand holds, another great topic for meditation at another time. I will have to exert the effort to push and pull myself up the wall I must climb that day. I may loss my grip, slip, and fall but God has me secure. I will not fall faster nor farther that He allows.

I can face the day with confidence and courage. I can enthusiastically face the challenges of the day because God is my belay. "Climb on!"

"Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault." Jude 1:24

"I will never fail you.I will never abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5

1 comment:

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