Climb On

April 19, 2023 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Anne C. Johnson –


I sat in the lobby of our motel in Estes Park Colorado. The view of the mountains was glorious. I couldn’t believe this was the last day of the Colorado Christian Writers Conference I had been attending. For three days, I led a group of conferees in an early morning devotional. However, this morning I had a strange butterfly feeling in my stomach. I wasn’t nervous, rather, unsure. I didn’t think the topic I had prepared to share about was correct. I asked my thirteen-year-old daughter, Moriah, and my nine-year-old son, Christopher, to pray for me.


Twelve conferees found their seats in the lobby and after a moment of greetings, we prayed. One of my cherished friends, adopted Grandma Louise, began praying. I offered my own silent prayer.


“Amen.” As my mouth repeated the words, my mind went blank. Help me Father, I don’t know what you want me to share.


During the week I explained how J.O.Y. ought to be a Christian’s perspective in life. “J” stands for the journey we all take; the good and the bad. “O” stands for an optimistic outlook, because as a Christian, we are Heaven Bound. So no matter what happens in life we should look ahead eagerly. “Y” stands simply for “Yes.” We are to say, “Yes, God. Your way and not mine.”


I stared at those gathered around me. My tongue felt weighted down as if stuck in a pair of cement galoshes. Out of the corner of my eye I saw my son’s hand raise into the air. Oh boy. I don’t needs this. I can’t even focus on what to say, and now this.


The butterfly feeling returned, and a wave of reassurance washed over me. “Yes, Christopher,” I said.


“Well,” he began, “I was just thinking how our Christian life is like rock climbing on a steep mountain cliff.”


“How so?” I asked. All eyes turned toward him as I watched in awe as God used my son to convey the morning’s message.


“When you start climbing, you have a harness and rope on that give you a sense of security. But in fact, these things are the sins in our lives that we hold to instead of trusting fully in Jesus. To say, “Yes to Jesus,” we need to be willing to take the rope and harness off. When we do, we fall down to the bottom of the mountain and land in a pool of Jesus’ blood. We are washed clean by His blood, forgiven and strengthened by His grace to take the next step and climb on.”


Christopher paused and looked around. All eyes were on him. Some people nodded, others smiled. Grandma Louise encouraged him, “Go on.”


“As we begin our climb with Jesus as our harness, the rocks that we are stepping and grabbing onto become little Bibles. When we falter or feel lost or weary, we can pull out God’s word and get His advice or strategy or strength for continuing.”


More nods of understanding. Christopher shared how reading scripture daily was needed to strengthen our spiritual climbing muscles. He also said during the tough, scary, unsure times, we need to grab hold of God’s word and submerge ourselves in His presence. The Bible becomes a spiritual energy bar.

Christopher received hugs and encouragement from those gathered in the lobby. Wrapping the week up, I prayed that everyone would walk optimistically through their lives’ journey and never give up but continue to “Climb On.”


“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14 NIV).

About Anne Johnson

Anne Johnson spends her time being a wife and mother, home school teacher, writer, registered nurse and loves spending time watching God do amazing things in her and her families lives.
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