I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “Hard Lessons”

Hard Lessons

Four young men stand gaping up at the mountain. One is determined to climb while the others try to talk him out of it, telling him he is inexperienced and will never make it.

The young man takes a deep breath and states, “I’ll go alone if you aren’t coming!” and hikes up the heavy backpack onto his back and heads determinedly toward a narrow path that leads part way up the mountain. I can do this myself. I don’t need them! He thinks.

The others watch while shaking their heads. “He has a real death wish,” one boy states.

The young fellow climbs and climbs, and before long he looks to be a small speck on the side of the mountain to those watching below.

He grabs at the crags in the rocks. He slowly pulls himself up another inch or two. Sweat drips down his face. His hands are already bloody and blisters form on his fingers.

Another six inches and he stops, breathing hard. His backpack feels fifty pounds heavier.

He finds a narrow ledge just wide enough for him to sit down and rest. He slides the backpack off his back and it suddenly drops over the edge falling hundreds of feet until the lad can no longer see it or hear its crash.

Out of the corner of his eye he sees movement and quickly twists his head to see what it is. Much to his surprise a Man appears at the other end of the ledge.

Clinging to the ledge, breathing hard and scared out of his wits, he yells, “Can you help me, Mister?”

The Man slowly makes His way to the young fellow and sits down beside him. He offers him some water from His water bottle and the boy thanks Him, and then takes a long gulping drink.

The young fellow swipes his arm across his mouth and hands the now empty water bottle back to the Man. He scoots back a fraction of an inch to press closer to the rock wall.

“We all have mountains to climb,” the Man states. “But we don’t have to climb them alone.”

The boy looks at Him and asks, “Who are you, and how’d you get up here?”

“I am the I Am and mountains are my specialty.”

“Huh?” The boy replies.

“There are mountains and there are valleys. Lessons are learned in both. It’s how well you traverse both and how well those lessons are learned that will determine your journey.”

The young fellow slowly slides his back up the rocky wall and stands cautiously. “Well, I’ll climb this one!”

His foot slips sending loose rock over the ledge.

The Man grabs him.

“You have much to learn.” The Man states, and helps the young man to the next ledge.

***

Prov. 29:23 – “A man’s pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor.”

***

I remember an incident where I was talking to a friend and his reply to what I was telling him was, “You need to pray about that.” My mouth flew open and the words, “I don’t need to pray about that, I can do it!” spilled out of my mouth.

So many times we lean on our own strength, knowledge, or human wisdom when in fact the Lord says, “we can do nothing without Him.” Pride is an ugly thing and something the Lord detests.  It hinders us from God’s help, wisdom, and guidance. We suddenly become our own god by rejecting His promises to lead us, guide us, to give us all we need to do whatever it is He calls us to do. In pride we cut Him out of the picture and He will let us. Our pride will stand as a wall between Him and us if we do not repent of it and ask for forgiveness. It’s easy to slip into our humanness and do things on our own but it becomes so much easier when we have the Lord helping us.

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