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The Glory of the Ascent

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Rain. Wind. Dense fog. Turbulence.

Pushing. Climbing. Straining to go higher.

And then finally…a glimmer of light.

But then more turbulence to endure as we climb even higher, push upwards even further.

Finally, the vessel that is carrying us reaches a pocket of smooth air… “cruising altitude” they call it. Here in this space, there is an abundance of sunshine and warmth. A blanket of blinding white below and a canopy of vibrant blue above. Permission has been granted to remove the shackles that bind and we are now free to move about.

High above the clouds, the cold and dreary world below is completely out of sight…if only for a short while. I know I’ll have to descend back into it once again…to strategically navigate through it once again…to brace myself against the bitterness of it once again. But for now, I’m going to bask in the glory of the ascent.

This is what I love most about flying.

It is in these few moments after take off that I am reminded of how I’m supposed to view life on this earth as a follower of Jesus. There will be rains and winds that come and beat against this vessel that is carrying my spirit. There will be times of dense mental and emotional fogginess, where clarity seems elusive and even non-existent. And as I push, climb, and strain to rise above my circumstances, there will most certainly be turbulence along the way.

But the hope and expectation is that if I keep on enduring, keep on climbing, keep on pushing–if I will choose to set my sights on things above, not on things below (Colossians 3:2)–then I will reach that pocket of smooth air. And it is in this space that there is abundance and freedom (John 10:10; Galatians 5:1).

For me, the daily ascent happens when I get in the Word of God. Whether it’s in the form of reading the Scriptures for myself, listening to a Bible teaching, or being encouraged by an email or devotional written by another follower of Jesus, I must have the Word of God to fuel me or I will be weighted down by the heaviness of this life, falsely believing that this is all there is.

One of my favorite verses is Numbers 23:19 (CJB)–

“God is not a human who lies
or a mortal who changes his mind.
When he says something, he will do it;
when he makes a promise, he will fulfill it.”

I love this verse because I desperately need to know that even when the rains, the winds, and the dense fog of this life seem to be causing massive delays and nauseating turbulence on my journey home, the struggle of the ascent is going to be worth it.

“If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” (Habakkuk 2:3 TLB)

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What about you, friend? What verse or promise from God is fueling your ascent in this season?

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