George Mallory was an English mountaineer who was last seen heading toward the summit of Mount Everest in June 1924. It’s possible he actually reached its peak but succumbed to the weather on the way down. We’ll never know what happened, for the details passed with the great explorer. Mallory was once asked why he wanted to climb Everest. His answer was simply, “Because it’s there!” This may make no sense to most people, but to a mountaineer it is perfectly logical. Climbing the mountain is something to strive toward that’s an end in itself. The impressive peak is all the fuel Mallory and countless other mountaineers have ever needed.
As we read chapter 11 of Hebrews, the writer extols the impressive faith of many who went before him. Then in chapter 12 he exhorts us all to pursue a number of spiritual practices—spurring us on and fueling our walk. He encourages us to look back at the examples of others, but not to review our past failings and sins (Hebrews 12:1). He implores us to keep going and not give up by keeping our focus on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2).
Just as Mallory’s eyes were set on the great mountain, so ours are to be set on our matchless, majestic God. The writer also encourages us by stating that Jesus started our faith and He will complete the work (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Finally, we’re to consider Jesus’ example, realizing that He endured so much more than us and will therefore enable us to bear our own burdens by His strength (Hebrews 12:3-4).
When mountaineers grow weary, they look at the goal—at the summit—and climb on. When we struggle like those before us, we can trust in Jesus who has lifted us to the greatest heights.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Matthew 28:16-20
Read Hebrews 11:1-3 and reflect on the source of our faith.
What mountain seems too high for you? Bring it to God in prayer and seek His power and presence. What keeps you climbing on in life?