(“The Way” by Robert Bartow)
About a year or so ago, I had the opportunity to attend a seminar at the University of Alaska. As is true in many professions, a certain number of college credits are required to maintain a valid certification. I say “opportunity” when it really comes down to “choice” if I want to get a step closer to my destiny. Thus, in order to move up a step, I had to select a class to take. In my effort to ease the pain of giving up a week-end to sit through a seminar, I thought it would help if the topic was at least somewhat inviting. So, I selected a class called “Resiliency: Overcoming Adversity.”
Part of the seminar included a panel of guest speakers. One of the speakers had made national news – even coverage on one of the specials news programs of 20/20 or 60 Minutes (can’t remember which). Marko Cheseto, an All-American runner who had disappeared for two days in the harsh winter chill of November 2011. There is much more to the story, but as a result, both of his feet had to be amputated due to frostbite. Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to hear his story… “his testimony.” After all, having been burned, I was sure I could related to his adversities even though I was on the opposing end of the thermometer.
What was most shocking to me in the story of Marko Cheseto, was that becoming a double amputee and as a runner had been the least of his resilient life! I was wrong in my anticipation as I waited for him to speak regarding what his “adversity” might be! He was an amazing man! One of the most profound things he said was when you overcome one thing, there will always be something new to overcome… it is called “life”. In the personal stories – “testimonies” – he shared about resiliency and overcoming adversity, the step of losing his legs as a runner was “low on the staircase” so to speak, as he had already overcome far worse in his young life.
Though Marko’s message was presented to a diverse group of people from all walks of life and beliefs, to me, I heard the spiritual symbolism of life.
Steps! One at a time, on our knees as a symbol of prayer – a language of love to communicate with our most intimate God! We are all on the same staircase; each one of us bearing the weight of what God has asked us to carry … some are simply carrying the “wait” and that at times may seem to heavy. STILL, love compels us to climb yet one step higher.
I don’t know where you are today on your staircase, but I want to thank you on behalf of Point To Hope Ministries. Your prayer coverage is so vital to this ministry! It is the prayers of God’s people – His intercessors that keeps us moving up the staircase, what ever the assignment, one step at a time. We are praying for you as well … we are ONE family – ONE Body.
As many of you know, this past spring has been a particularly rough step for Nancy’s health. She continues to climb each step and the Lord is faithful to sustain and strengthen her with each new day! Thank you for your continued prayers for her. Yet, I know of so many that are on challenging steps too! Those in need of physical healing, medical answers or directions, family crisis, financial burdens, etc. Sometimes, just simply maintaining the step one is on holds enough trial itself, let alone moving to the next step. But HE IS FAITHFUL!
What ever step we are on, this is always true for those who believe and whose trust is in the Lord: We are triumphant – Resilient! … by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony! (Rev. 12:11).
I want to leave you with an awesome word Debbie Anderes send. It is encouraging and powerful and I know you will enjoy it!
Blessings to All!
PTH Prayer Facilitator
Pictures are worth a thousand words to me!
I approach this picture with a childlike wonder… Come along with me.
As I sat and studied this picture, I remembered you (Nancy) telling me a story of how you, and Sarah I believe, had climbed on your knees what is believed to be the original marbled steps Jesus climbed leading to his trial. At the time, you wondered how you did it as you were not in the best of health at the time, but you did it!
I know there is much more to that story but as I look at these steps it is such a picture of our lives. It’s uneven, it’s hard ground, you wonder how in the world you could make it to the top because most of the climb is without hand rails. It takes focus, balance, determination, risk of falling and courage to finish.
What in the world gets you to do something like this? What could possibly drive anyone to do such a thing? LOVE. Love so deep so wide so complete that just a taste is enough. It causes you to take every chance, every risk to have more. It’s promised for you to have all you can possibly desire but the only way is on your knees.
Eph 2:20 You are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone!
Gal 2:20 for you have been ( you are a have-been) crucified with Christ, you longer live, for Christ lives in you.
Why do some not get past the first steps? The secret is Love! Is it not the enemy’s job to steal, kill, and destroy? (John 10:10) One of the things the enemy tries to steal, kill, and / or destroy is our Love of Him.
That’s the very thing he is after. Love of Him, Jesus Christ!
This is the battleground. Where love will grow cold – Sufferings, trials, even blessings keep us distracted – keep us from the next step. It’s too hard! It takes too much discipline! It’s not comfortable! Focusing on the hard step in front of us instead of anticipating reaching the top.
The warning? Watch this! Your love of Him. Love is the way to us keep going up. Stand your ground in Him; Union and alliance with the Father. He will show you which steps to be more careful with and which ones are safe to pause and rest for a time. There are many resting places on the way to Father’s house! We will literally be walking with God. We have everything we need, in Him. Suffering even turns to bless us, not because we must suffer but because we are willing! God is our Righteous Champion Defender. He will get us there. He is our strength!
The secret – just Love Him! Passionately. It empowers to obey. Each step reveals more wisdom to know more of the heart of God that overwhelms our hearts of this love and overcomes to step again.
Enter into the enjoyment of God – the delight in the fear of The Lord. Enjoy Him.
Taste and see that The Lord is good.
The higher you are –
The farther you see.
Blessed are You, Lord God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever.
Yours, Oh Lord, IS The greatness
The power and The Glory, The Victory and The Majesty
For all that is in heaven and in the earth is Yours;
Yours IS The Kingdom, Oh Lord
And You are exalted as head over all.
Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all.
In Your hand is Power and Might, In Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all…
1 chronicles 29:10-13
My prayer in this time is, heaven will be open, like a stairway resting on earth – right where you are – with its top reaching to heaven and angels of God ascending and descending bringing you divine holy encounters and revelation.
Today you will be successful as you position yourself for Him. Do it for love!
PTH Assistant Director,
© Point to Hope Ministries