*It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out; it is the pebble in your shoe. -Muhammad Ali

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. -1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

For my iniquities are gone over my head; As a heavy burden they weigh too much for me. -Psalms 38:4 (NASB)*

Uphill. Sometimes you’re just tired of all the uphill. When is the next plateau? Where’s the summit? It never seems to end with the uphill!

But more than likely, there are grains of sand, pebbles, or even rocks in our shoes that make the climb worse than it has to be.

Those irritating, or even infuriating, things in our shoes are the things we need to stop and shake out: Pain, pride, self-pity, hardheartedness, condemnation, bitterness, resentment, or even just plain stubbornness to surrender all to the climb God has before us.

God calls us to travel light. To do that, we must stop and pray up every burden and hindrance, big or small, so He can free us of them once more. Do it as many times a day and night as you must. He can take it!

What the world doesn’t understand is that surrender is so freeing. Fiercely hanging onto self and charging onward and upward on one’s own power, which is exactly what the world says to do, is spiritual death to a believer.

He’s got reasons and a plan for us who climb to Him. There is purpose to all of this. Trust Him once more.

Let us glorify the Lord by giving Him our burdens, letting His supernatural joy, strength, trust, and courage flow through us once more, and climb to heights we can’t even imagine reaching alone.

Today’s soundtrack

“Long Way Home” by Steven Curtis Chapman reassures us that we’re going the right way…it’s just the long way home.

Note: After some digging, I found that Ali just slightly modified the quotation above from an unattributed author decades earlier (around 1916), which mentions a grain of sand instead of a pebble.