BY: GIOVANNA GOMEZ
BIBLE TEXT: James 1:12 (The Message): “Anyone who meets a testing challenge head on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.”
PERSONAL REFLECTION: I like to hike. I’m not a hardcore hiker by any means, but I do enjoy going on day hikes even though I’m allergic to everything outdoors. Last September I went with some wonderful folks from our church on a hike to LeConte Lodge in Mount LeConte (it’s the highest guest lodge in the eastern United States–elevation over 6,400 feet). Our hike was eight miles on the first day which isn’t bad at all, however, the trail was mostly ascending and at times it was pretty steep. My leg muscles gave out several times and I also hit my toe on a rock which caused my toenail to eventually fall off. Let’s just say I was the last person in our group to arrive at the destination and my poor husband had to push me up with his hiking stick on several occasions during the hike (bless him). Nonetheless, I reached the peak without crying once and for that reason alone it was a great personal accomplishment.
There is something called the “snake line” that outdoorsy people sometimes talk about. The “snake line” is supposed to be the altitude where snakes no longer live. Some people say it is 6,000 feet but I think it has to do with the location. In some areas snakes can be found at higher altitudes. Regardless of where the snake line truly is though at some point, if you keep hiking up, the expectation is that you will not encounter snakes. To get to that point, however, requires a lot of perseverance.
The other day I was thinking about us, the Church. We are not fulfilling God’s plan because we lack the grit needed to get above the snake line. History makers possess grit. Inventors and explorers successfully invented and explored because they had grit. They weren’t afraid of long term goals and they understood that stumbling blocks were part of the process. I am often dismayed that Christians live under a constant state of survival yet we possess every single tool needed –materially and spiritually– to conquer and accomplish great things. We lack grit. We don’t finish what we start and give up at the first obstacle. Many times we don’t start at all due to fear even though we know God has called us to specific purposes. God forgive our lack of faith, our laziness, our apathy, and our resistance to follow through with anything that causes us discomfort.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: When I talk to others about the dreams that God has laid on my heart and don’t take the steps to achieve them, I rob myself and the world of God’s divine plan and purpose. It’s time to stop talking and start doing.
PRAYER: Father God, the truth is that I’m lazy and I’ve become apathetic to your call. Forgive me. Holy Spirit, wake me up and shake me! Give me grit to fulfill your will and ignite in me passion for the lost. Help me see the world through your eyes. In Jesus’s Name.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Giovanna has been blissfully married to Hubert for 27 years. She was born in Puerto Rico. She and Hubert first met in Orlando, Florida, during their early teenage years after their parents bought homes in the same neighborhood. They are parents to Andrew (who is married to Evelyn) and to Rachel. They have been partners with Life Assembly since 2005. Giovanna is a social worker – a profession she loves. She enjoys hiking, gardening, laughter, and eating tasty food at restaurants with friends.