Having been in Washington, DC numerous times, I can share with you from personal experience that everything you witness around you is much farther away than it appears to the eye. I chuckle to myself thinking of the time I was in the capital with my eldest daughter while I was between knee surgeries. Touring all of the sights we could between our advocacy meetings, we made one major choice that was not too wise. After touring the Washington Monument, we looked down the incline to see the World War II Memorial right across the street. Capable in spite of the large, hinged knee brace I was wearing, we decided to walk over to take in this meaningful sight. Afterward, we wanted to see the Lincoln Memorial.
"Should we walk?" I questioned as we glanced across the large reflecting pool.
"Sure, Mom. It's just right there. Why not?" my daughter affirmed. And so we set out.
Dressed in attire appropriate for meeting congressmen and senators, neither of us were wearing proper walking shoes. Add the pain of my knee wrapped in a bulky brace, and the walk was miserable. Eyes fixed on that beautiful monument ahead of us, I just wanted to get there, but the blistering journey took forever. We would walk and have to make stops along the way to rest the skin-abrading of our fancy shoes. And upon arrival, we looked up the mountain of all those stairs. Oh, the exhaustion!
Recently contemplating the long road of parenting a child with chronic illness or special needs, I couldn't help but think of this Washington walk. At times it seems like the destination is within reach... Until we realize it is not. The journey is long, difficult, painful. We just want to get there. We may limp along at times, stopping to nurse wounds, then press on. We may get through one long stride only realize that we have only reached the base of the hill. There is a steep mountain yet to climb. We take a deep breath, putting one foot of the other, making the ascent because we know there is something glorious at the top.
Friends, let me encourage you today by letting you know that Jesus made a similar journey. In fact his was worse. Have you spent 40 days in a sun parched desert? Our Savior was no stranger to suffering. He was tempted in every way we are, but still did not sin. (See Hebrews 4:15) Hunger, thirst, exhaustion, and the temptation to give up plagued him. And as if the desert time was not enough, consider him in the Garden of Gethsemane, fully aware of what he was facing. After all he had endured up to that point, he still had his own "mountain" to climb. But he pushed on with the pinnacle in mind. Hebrews 12:2-3 tells us that we should recall all of this, so that we do not lose heart ourselves.
Take heart today! Persevere in Him. He who endured the very worst that this earth has to dish out will be there for you. He will support and strengthen you even when "objects may be farther than appear."
PRAY: Jesus, thank You for subjecting Yourself to all the pain, suffering and hardships of this life, so You could understand us. It is so comforting to have a God who knows our walk. Thank You for helping us to press on until we reach the glorious goals You have in mind for us.
~ Barb Dittrich