For awhile, I guess it was a thing to try to climb Mt. Everest, even though many people had clearly died trying. Then it became the metaphor for anything super difficult in someone’s life.
“Losing that weight has been her Mt. Everest”
“Learning to be more patient is my Mt. Everest”
I don’t know. Those are all pretty bad examples in comparison to what I’ve heard but you get the point.
I suppose it’s universally known that trying to make it to the top of this mountain is quite the feat, something which requires dedication, stamina, strength, skill and more–lest it cost you your life. And this challenge is made even more impossible by the fact that the climate on the mountain, the tricky rock formations, its tremendous height and gravity in general are all working against you, draining you of energy, oxygen and time. Therefore, I certainly applaud the individuals who attempt to accomplish something so amazing, let alone the ones who actually succeed and live to tell about it.
But this is something physical. People can see this struggle and witness brave individuals climbing and camping out for days and months. What you can’t see is an individual fighting with one’s own mind, willing themselves to be stronger than their doubts and to not be trapped in prison of self-doubt and discouragement. In a battle where it’s hard to reach out for help because all people can do is talk you down from your fears or try to remind you there will be brighter days.
No one can physically carry you from the low pit you’ve fallen into. No one can physically unlock that prison for you and release you from all the worry and anxiety that’s weighing you down like a ball and chain. No one has the magic wand for rewiring the neurons of your brain to only be directed to positive thoughts and good memories.
Sure, there are friends and family that metaphorically do all of this for us but there’s only so much they can do. We must fight for ourselves. We must want more. We must not stop, even when the going gets rough.
And you know when you’re always bound to face those rough waters? When you’re in a fight with Satan.
Satan loves to attack. He loves to engage you by picking out that one little weakness or fear and using it as a stronghold, as an entrance into your life and thoughts. He comes ready to win the fight and he’s not going to let you go easily. You’re a prize to him, something he can steal from God, like a jealous boyfriend that just wants to break you and your partner up but not actually offer you any benefits. Why? Because he doesn’t love you, yet he sees how much God does and it kills him.
So picture yourself on your worst day thinking nothing can go more wrong and it might. But picture yourself on your best day, and that’s when Satan puts on his gear and fights the hardest. How dare a child of God be happy? No. This can’t happen on his watch.
He will battle you until you are crying on your bathroom floor, or yelling at your child in public so loudly because he’s a toddler and won’t listen and you just don’t care about how you appear to strangers anymore. He will ruin those fun trips you had planned when you were sure you were going to get some peace and be kind to everyone who came along.
He doesn’t want you to be happy. It’s that simple. So those days when you start off with a plan and determination to have a good day, don’t be so easily discouraged just because you got to work late or your kid got sick or your mortgage payment bounced or your husband forgot your anniversary. Because too often we let these little bumps bring us down and ruin the rest of the day, but are they worth it?
Usually not. You’re still alive. You’re healthy. You have access to food. You can walk. You have a home. It sounds cliche but there are so many blessings you could be counting.
James MacDonald says we should be constantly rehearsing the good things we have and the promise of what’s still to come: eternal life with Christ, the Father who is sad when He sees the devil attempting to bring you down. But He doesn’t just sit back and a watch with a bowl of popcorn. He gives you the tools to fight back.
Ephesians 6 discusses the armor of God and how to obtain peace and faith and protection from damaging emotions and negative thoughts. That sounds like something I could use, how about you? But you can’t find it at Walmart or buy it at Target.
You unlock these tools by praying to God, by practicing wearing this special armor and by standing firm. By never giving up, even when you want to. Especially when you want to.
The people who make it a mission to try to be strong and to not let Satan win are the true warriors because they always start off knowing the struggle will be difficult, they fight everyday, and they’re doing it for the glory of God in their lives.
I am not saying the people who are up against physical battles (maybe Mt. Everest or maybe cancer or even being in a wheelchair) aren’t courageous. I’m pointing out that despite how hard it is to deal with physical ailments or hardships, it’s even more challenging to deal with that which we can’t see but permeates in our lives. But it’s also rewarding when we can tell ourselves that we chose to fight back, that we didn’t take the easy road and allow the devil to laugh at us and make us think there’s no hope and no reason to try.