Friday, April 18, 2014

King of the Hill

Large piles of fill dirt were a common site near my home as a child.  As a contractor, my dad would often pile up mounds of soil with his backhoe to ensure he had dirt ready to load and haul the moment a customer was in need.    My brother, Kevin, and I loved to climb the mounds and play, “King of the Hill”.  Only the strong would survive, and usually I was on the losing end of the stick.  After all, Kevin was four years older and much stronger than I was.  So, more often than not, he stood victorious atop the hill while I rose up from the bottom of the dirt pile, brushing soil stains from knees. 

I don’t climb dirt piles much anymore, but there are certainly times I find myself trying to conquer hills – hills such as fear…lies…worry…sorrow…sin.   It’s still a battle in which only the strong can survive, and quite frankly on my own I’m not strong enough to win.  Some days it’s all I can do to even muster up the will to fight much less push back the enemy atop the hill. It’s tough to convince yourself you can win when the enemy screams, “You’re a loser” or “You’re worthless”, but, I refuse to hang my head low, and stand in the shadow of the hill or in the agony of defeat.    I will keep putting one foot in front of the other, pressing on and fighting…reminding myself that I don’t have to win -  because victory is already mine.  Though the enemy may try to convince me otherwise, the battle has already been won. 

“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
– 1 Corinthians 15:57 (NIV) 

There will always be hills to face.  And, there will most certainly be dark days in which we struggle to press on.  I know.  I’m right there with you, friend.  In fact, truth be told, I’m pep talking myself as the words flow from my fingertips to this very computer.  I need this reminder, and maybe you do too…there is but One who gets me through…One who will get YOU through too…One who gives us strength to keep putting one foot in front of the other...and His name is Jesus.  We haven’t the strength to face the hills or the enemy, but He does!  And, we can do all things because of Him (Philippians 4:13). 

On a dark day thousands of years ago, He was whipped, beaten, spat on, and ridiculed.   The enemy screamed and shouted at Him, “You’re a loser.  You’re worthless.”  Yet He pressed on.  And as if the beatings and insults weren’t enough, He was nailed to a cross atop a hill and crucified.  It was there, atop the hill, where He died to set us free.  But, hear me on this friends…the hill didn’t win that day, and the hill still doesn’t win today!  Jesus conquered death and the enemy once and for all!  He fought and won the battle through His life, His death and His resurrection.  And, He promises we too can have victory if we put our faith and trust in Him.   

So, when the hills rise before us, and we feel we can’t possibly take another step…may we be found rising up in victory, fresh soil stains on our knees, giving all the praise and all the glory to Him...our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ…the “King of the Hill”.