Even under ideal conditions, climbing a mountain like Mount Everest is an act of near madness. Standing on top of the peak is like stopping a passenger jet in mid-flight and climbing out onto the wing. The altitude, the below zero temperatures and most concerning, the lung destroyer- which produces a confusing atmosphere caused by ultra-thin air.
In May 1996, it was clear to anyone listening to the Mount Everett radio traffic, that climber Rob Hall had decided to give up. In the brutal cold and almost oxygen-free air found at Everest altitudes, a sort of woozy acceptance sets in. Decisions to climb or descend, to rest or trek on, get made with an accepting shrug. At that moment, Hall was shrugging passively toward death.
Hall was only 400 feet shy of Everest 29,028-foot summit. He was stuck on the shelf where he spent the night after a sudden blizzard battered the mountain. The situation was hardly survivable but the other climbers were determined to help Hall make it. Over the radio, they cheered him on. Hall laughed weakly and didn’t move. A short time later, no one ever heard from him again. Hall gave in and gave up- his lack of oxygen confused him and mislead him to decide to stay where he was.
Just as the lack of oxygen to our brain causes confusion and ultimately death, the lack of engaging in God’s Word and prayer has the propensity to lead us to spiritual death. Lack of God’s presence, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom leads to confusion, and many times in that confusion, mediocracy sets in and from there- we become stuck in life.
At times, life seems like a mountain climb and when our journey gets hard and riddled with discouraging delays, fatigue, or a storm that appears to be overtaking us, we are most susceptible to deception by our enemy…. persuading us to give up and give in. Since Satan is the author of confusion, he will confuse us and convince us to stay where we are. Why? Because “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;…” But Jesus says, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10
But if we are reading God’s Word, praying and seek God’s face and His direction for our life, we are far less likely to be confused when the mountain climb gets rough. We are also less likely to give up or give in to the enemies tactics on the mountain. Many times the temptation to give in is when we are nearest to the summit.
To have the abundant life Jesus wants us to have, we must trust God in times of trouble, keep our faith intact through prayer and reading His Word. If we don’t, we will shrug ourselves towards a living death of mediocrity or making life-stealing decisions, missing all that God has for us- and the summit is not something we want to miss.
What situation has left you feeling confused and tempted to give up or give in?
For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. 1 Corinthians 14:33