Monday, March 3, 2014

More Stairs? Seriously?

I spent the day in Seattle a while back, enjoying the sights and sounds of the city.  I walked through Pike Place Market, saw the ferries in the Sound, ate gelato and even saw a political protest in the middle of a busy intersection.  It was quite an eventful day.

But, the highlight of my day was a lunch date with my husband. He wanted to take me somewhere different for lunch, so we grabbed some teryaki from a local deli and headed to the rooftop patio of Rainier Square to eat our food.

We walked inside the mall and found the flight of stairs that led to the top.  Now, I don't mind a few stairs.  My home is a two-story house and I seem to manage all right. But, you see, I've got Parker Knees.  You won't find it in any medical book- it's a condition that runs in our family, on the Parker side.  It means I've got crappy knees that creek, crack, pop and ache.  They also hurt like crazy when I walk up and down stairs.

So, when we approached the first flight of stairs, I was ok.  I have become immune to climbing one or two flights. But, the stairs kept coming and coming.  By the time we reached what we thought was the last set of stairs my husband said, "I should have found you an elevator." 

And there were still two more flights.

I started up the remaining stairs and felt a shooting pain in my knee.  Instinctively I reached out for my husband's hand and he held it the rest of the way. He didn't pull me up the stairs, he simply held my hand.

But it made me feel so much better.

As I stood at the bottom of the last flight of stairs I could see the windows above and the glass door which let to the roof patio (insert angelic choirs singing, Aaaaaaaaa in unison.)

The hike up the stairs was worth it.We had a wonderful lunch together enjoying each others' company and the beautiful elevated view of Seattle.

I thought about that little stair incident this morning. The stairs were not insurmountable, but they were a painful challenge. But, as I held my husband's hand I got the support I needed ease some pain and get to the top. 

It was a small act on his part, and he probably didn't realize the impact it had on me, but it did.

In Hebrews 12:12 Paul exhorts the people to "lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees."

Most of life's most challenging times are not the make-it-or-break-it ones.  They are often those times when we are "enduring to the end," when the challenges we face are ongoing or repeating: sickness, a challenging child, financial issues, depression, etc.     

It's those times that we might look at the day and think, "More? Seriously?" We may doubt ourselves and feel discouraged. But,  Heavenly Father knows we can make it. He also knows how much a supportive hand can help.

I know there have been many times in my life where I felt weighed down, tired, in pain, and even hopeless. As I look back now, I can see that at those times I was always lifted up and supported. It isn't always as easy to see when we are smack dab in the middle of a trial or painful time.

In those times, when your hands hang down or your knees feel feeble, have faith.  God is aware and will send support. He is aware of our trials and will give you what you need to make it through.

Sometimes it comes through an inner strength and perspective given by Him, or perhaps the situation might change. But, most often He answers prayers by through those around us. So, when you stand in the middle of your trials and see another batch of the same, and think, "More trials? Seriously?" Look around. Someone will be there to lift you up. If you can't find anyone, reach for me. I will help.

Sometimes reaching out takes great courage, an act of faith in and of itself. But, that is what we must do--reach out. Most likely someone already is there next to you, waiting with an outstretched hand.

Then you'll find that all you have to do is hold tight, keep going and then enjoy the view.

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