Psalm 86: Walk This Way

She was six and I was afraid of heights, but in spite of this our family of seven achieved the goal—climbing to the top of a 14,300 foot mountain in Colorado. All the men were repeating the accomplishment. Out of four females, two followed willingly and two others were deceived into gaining the objective. I was one of the ones deceived, and the six-year-old was lured to finish by bribery and trickery. She received M& M’s for taking a certain amount of steps toward the goal. According to her climbing partners—her brothers—the deception involved distracting her while she counted so that she took more steps to receive the M& M’s.

Fearfully conflicted but determined to be with my family, I climbed at first out of focus. I did not look down but only looked as far as my next foothold until the footholds disappeared into a wall of loose rock. The wall was my deception. Before we climbed, the men in my family did not tell me the path disappeared into a sheer wall of loose rocks because they knew I would not climb with them. When I reached the wall and saw the birds swirling thousands of feet below the eight-inch ledge where I stood, I could master my fear no longer. My reaction was to stop and wait for their return but then I remembered my six-year-old. As the mother of the entire brood, how could I be apart from her (or any of them) in case something awful happened? Angry, fearful, and certain of doom, I pressed on to the top.

Our story serves as a reminder to me today that sometimes goals are achieved through focus and sometimes through deception. Even though the pictures of that day show us all together, my heart and memories remain conflicted about my presence because of the great fear I felt (and would still feel) at such heights.

Have you ever been deceived, or have you deceived yourself to get somewhere? Does the achievement remain a conflicted area in your life? Be thankful to God that He does not purpose deception in our life to take us where He wants us to go.

Look at Psalm 86, verses 6-8, 10, and 1.

“Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; and listen to the cry of my supplications.

In the days of my trouble I will call on You, for You will answer me.

There is none like You among the gods, O Lord, neither are their works like Yours.

For You are great and work wonders! You alone are God.

Teach me Your way, O Lord, that I may walk and live in Your truth; direct and unite my heart to fear and honor Your name.”

It’s true. A heart conflicted can achieve a lot. Far greater is a heart united to fear and honor God. From such a heart nothing exists for danger and difficulty to conquer. A heart perfectly and fully united to God can face anything. In addition, what that heart accomplishes endures forever. Pray for such a heart!

“O God above all gods, hear my out-loud prayer. Replace my conflicted heart with a heart that is united and focused solely on You and Your ways so that in every worldly dilemma I encounter I see more clearly the path—the way—in which You plan for me to walk. Eliminate deception in the achievements and failures that come my way. Let Your truth reign in me. Give me motivation that is honoring to You, (because any other motivation is foolish and faulty.) Constantly remind me that there is none like You and that Your ways and works are like none. Amen.”

Challenge…..When it comes to knowing God, don’t be ignorant about your ignorance. Seek Him out. He’s not into hiding and deception. He will be found by you if you are truly seeking. Pray like the Psalmist in verse 11, “Teach me!”

Also, know this. Whatever place you find yourself, intended or not, good or bad, God can use that place for His glory. My experience from climbing the mountain is incorporated in the first scene on the first page of my novel, Not One Bird Falls. My book is about what God can do with tragedy.


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