Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! -Psalm 27:14 (NKJV)

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. -Psalm 37:7 (NIV)

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. -1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

Power up. Defeat boss. Rinse and repeat.

In the world of video games, there is an ages-old formula: As the hero, you start off with very little ability and endurance, but build them up as you traverse each level. By the end of each level, you’ll have amassed enough enhancements to your abilities and endurance to face and defeat a boss (tough opponent) that you could not otherwise have defeated earlier. These boss battles, as they are called, often require you to make clever and creative use of your new abilities to defeat this Goliath. Once you defeat the boss, you can progress to the next level, and each one follows the same formula, so you grow your arsenal as you face increasingly difficult bosses.

The Christian climb

I quickly noticed this parallel as an agent: God has been growing me to face each new trial that I couldn’t possibly foresee or expect, and then when I was on the cusp of overcoming a trial with my stronger faith and endurance, a new trial would appear that I couldn’t have survived earlier. It is the way that these steps have been laid before me, lit a step at a time, that I know that God is in control, and that I can trust that He will equip me to face each challenge as it comes. And when I don’t think I can take any more, I remember to leave it to Him, and stop facing it all in my own strength, because He is the one who undergirds me through it all.

So, I see life as just that: the upward progression and climb to Christlikeness, where we pick up new strengths and endurance along the way, because the higher we get, the tougher the trials we face. We may even stumble and fall back down the mountain again, but we have a safety line that is always there to pull us back up, if we will reach for it.

It’s an amazing journey, one that is already mapped out for us, but we get to experience right on the ground. It’s a comfort to know that we have our mini-trials, mega-trials, and epic trials, but they will all fashion us in preparation to meet Him. And, we get to be His hands and feet to inspire and help fellow climbers, because we sometimes will face trials together, and triumph over them as a team…all to His glory.

Today’s soundtrack

Third Day’s “Call My Name” is just the thing you need when you’re faced with a really tough trial…a cliff face that seems unclimbable. Call Him, and He will comfort and strengthen you again, every single time.