When You Can’t Find the Next Handhold

Ever feel like the woman in this picture? Is life an arduous, up-the-back-side-of-the-mountain-by-yourself kind of struggle every single day?

I’ve been there. And some days I still am. But here’s something I’ve learned. When you feel like giving up, try looking back instead. I’m not advising you to replay your regrets or wallow in what-if’s. I’m reminding you to intentionally call to your remembrance the instances when God proved His faithfulness to you.

You might be in a place you never thought you’d find yourself. You might be floundering in your faith or questioning your sanity. But you’re still alive. God still has a plan and a purpose. He is still good.


Listen to what long-ago preacher C. H. Spurgeon says:

“We delight to look down a long avenue of trees. It is delightful to gaze from one end of the long vista, a sort of verdant temple, with its branching pillars and its arches of leaves. Even so, look down the long aisles of your years, at the green boughs of mercy overhead, and the strong pillars of lovingkindness and faithfulness will bear up your joys.”

tree canopy

Ah, the green boughs of mercy. The strong trunks of lovingkindness and faithfulness. Don’t let yourself forget! Remind yourself, as the King James Version says, “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.”¹

Don’t you love the  word “hitherto”? It sounds so poetical, as Anne of Green Gables would say.  But what it means is “thus far.” Thus far the Lord has helped us; every single day of our lives up until now. Each day to date. Previously. Formerly. Always.

Thus far the Lord has helped us; every single day of our lives up until now. Each day to date. Previously. Formerly. Always.

Why would we think He would stop now?

And so. “…Let us call out to one another through the darkness, till the gloom becomes vocal with many voices, encouraging the pilgrim host. Let the echoes gather till a very storm of hallelujahs break in thundering waves around the sapphire throne, and then as the morning breaks we shall find ourselves at the margin of the sea of glass, crying, with the redeemed host, ‘Blessing and honor and glory be unto him that sits on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever!'”²


Can I get an amen?

¹ I Samuel 7:12, KJV

²Cowman, Mrs. Charles E.,  Streams in the Desert


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