Devotional: June 26, 2020
Who can climb Mount God?
Who can scale the holy north-face?
Only the clean-handed,
only the pure-hearted;
Men who won’t cheat,
women who won’t seduce.
God is at their side;
with God’s help they make it.
This, Jacob, is what happens
to God-seekers, God-questers.
Psalm 24: 3-6
One of the scariest, but most memorable films I have seen in recent years is Free Solo, an Oscar-winning National Geographic documentary. The movie tells the story of Alex Honnold, who strives to become the first, and so far only, climber to free solo climb El Capitan in Yosemite’s Park. Free solo climbing is distinguished from other types of climbing by the fact that no ropes or harnesses are used. It is riskier and far more dangerous than any other types of climbing.
In order to ascend El Capitan, which is almost completely vertical and 3,000 feet high, Alex carried only the essentials. He had only his clothes and climbing shoes, some powder to help him get a better grip, and some water. He climbed the face of El Capitan in a little under four hours, after years of practice and preparation for this climb.
In Psalm 24, the Psalmist compares reaching God to climbing a mountain. Yet getting to the top of that mountain doesn’t just happen, it takes persistence, dedication and practice. It involves problem-solving, courage, and remembering the basics. Successful mountain climbers learn what they need to carry for the journey. Thus, they take only what is essential.
On our journey through life, we need to follow the example of a successful mountain climber. We need to leave behind the things which drag us down. Sin weighs us down, and keeps us from moving forward. We need to see that sin, acknowledge it, and get rid of it, as we continue to move forward on our daily journey. Only in this way will we ascend Mount God.
Of course, God helps us with this task. We do not have to Free Solo our spiritual journey. God is like a rope or harness: He catches us if we start to fall. That is why the Psalmist notes that “God is at their side: with God’s help they will make it.” The Lord helps us get rid of burdens which weigh us down, so that we can ascend to the heights with Him.
The lesson the Psalmist wants us to grasp is that when we make the effort to seek God, and use the tools He provides, He will help us along our journey. With God’s help there is no mountain we cannot climb. Almost literally, the sky's the limit.
So, go ahead and “climb every mountain”, knowing that with God at our side, we will reach the summit of joy, peace and happiness.
Lord, you have given us majestic mountains to view. They inspire us! As we look at the spiritual mountains in front of us, may we be reminded that You are there every moment. All we must do is reach out and grasp Your hand on the journey. Thank you for drawing us close to You, protecting us, and encouraging us. We look forward to one day reaching that Holy Summit with you.
We pray this prayer in Your most Holy and Perfect name. Amen