I went to see the movie “Everest” yesterday. I normally don’t go for those blockbuster, adventure thriller kind of movies because, frankly, they scare me. I get so nervous watching them that I have to run to the ladies’ room at least twice during the movie since my bladder can’t take the tension.
But I felt like I was supposed to go see it, I can’t explain why.
The film is about the 1996 Mount Everest disaster. There were times in the movie when I stayed tightly curled up in my seat with my eyes closed. As the climbers made their way up to the summit I was so moved by the effects of the blizzard that I kept wishing for a furry coat to wrap around me. I could have sworn I was freezing in that theater. I am easily influenced.
What kept striking me as the story played out was how the mountain seemed to call these people. I mean, WHY would you risk your life for something like that? One character explained it best when he said that he only felt real peace on the mountain despite the agonizing physical difficulty.
And right there in the middle of than torturous story it hit me. This is the Christian experience. God calls us and we must follow Him. Despite having to lose everything in the answer to the call, we discover that the only real peace is on that harrowing climb. It is filled with trials and tribulation, yet we stay the course.
John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Christianity is not easy, friends. But the peace that accompanies it is unexplainable to those who simply can’t see it.
Sometimes I get it in my head that I am doing things wrong if I am feeling pain or discomfort. When people call me crazy, it hurts and I don’t want to be disliked. When I lose possessions or people that I value, it makes me want to quit. But there is no peace in going back down the mountain and trying to rejoin the world.
Romans 8:18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
Being a Christ follower does not mean a pain-free life, nor does it mean we won’t have troubles. Trouble happens to all of us no matter who we are! Being a Christian means that the trials draw us to become more like Christ and in our suffering He is glorified. I know…. it sounds kinda crazy! But I have experienced that kind of unexplainable peace and I tell you that the joy found there is no less than reaching the summit of Everest. It is a-mazing!
1 Peter 4:12-13 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange wee happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed.”
When I am injured, I still bleed. When people hate me, my heart breaks. And when I am rejected for my faith, it stings like the dickens because I love those who reject me and want them to have the peace that I experience. God doesn’t promise to save me from the pain. He does promise to increase my character and my hope.
Romans 5:3-5 “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts though the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Oh boy do I need some of that hope more and more each day!
I won’t be making a trip to the summit of Mt Everest, or any mountain for that matter. I’ll just stay right here at my low altitude thankyouverymuch. Just watching the movie was enough for me to know that I wouldn’t have even made it to the first camp. I have my own, more personal mountain too climb. Motherhood, marriage, work, friends, so many areas that I have to learn hard lessons from.
But amidst the loss and pain and suffering that I have experienced as I climb this mountain that calls me, the sense of peace and joy are with me, carrying me to the end.
Go see the movie for yourself and be amazed. Oh, and take a heavy coat.