Going Uphill   Leave a comment


English: Uphill footpath Looking uphill near t...

English: Uphill footpath Looking uphill near to Bethania Gwynedd. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This morning during my devotional time, I read about churches in Central Asia.  These churches are in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Afghanistan.  Five of these nations used to be part of the Soviet Union and the sixth is occupying much of our news on a regular basis.  All of the nations are considered to be predominately Muslim and even though many people in these nations do not appear to have a high level of commitment to Islam, they do have a high level of identity with Islam.  In the recent decade, there have been an increased immigration of Muslims from other countries into this region who have tried to intensify the faith and practice in the region.  Needless to say, Christian churches have a challenge of establishing a Christian presence in this region.  It led me to ask the question, “Why not quit trying since it appears to be a very uphill battle?”

I think there are a lot of times in life that we face what appears to be a seemingly uphill battle.  It is very hard to go uphill for an extended period of time.  I remember a specific time when a friend talked me into taking a very hilly road between our community and another on a bike ride.  At the time, I did not have a very decent bicycle so he lent me one of his bicycles.  I had not lived in the community very long but I knew that this bike ride would be a bit of a challenge.  Not to mention, at that point I had done very little cycling in recent years.  We started out on the journey, my friend was avid cyclist and knew exactly how to tackle the hills that we encountered on the journey; me, not so much.  There were many times I was barely moving at all and I more than once considered stopping, getting off the bike, and walking up the hill.  However, my friend was going at a fairly good pace and I did not want to slow him up any more than I already was doing.  Eventually, we made it to the second community and had some breakfast.  He indicated to me that he was glad I had kept going uphill and not given up.  The ride back home was equally as challenging but I knew that if I could make it the first time, I could make it the second time and I succeeded.

I believe that is the key to going uphill, you need to just keep going.  Whatever the battle may be, a challenge at work, a personal issue you are dealing with, difficulties with a family member, a struggle in a class, whatever the case, when you feel like you are continuously going uphill, keep going.  The Apostle Paul reminds us that:  “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”  (Romans 5:3-4) We must persevere when we are going uphill.  This will provide us hope for the next journey uphill that we make.

The churches in Central Asia do not quit because though the journey is uphill, they know that it will strengthen them and create in them the hope that will sustain them.  When I feel like I am always going uphill, I remember that this is preparation for the next hill in my journey.

 

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