Excerpt from Miracle in The Middle by Charlotte Gambill

I remember a few years ago being talked into climbing a mountain. I was excited to start the challenge, and I also felt a little competitive to try and climb faster than my friends who were accompanying me. At first, this adventure began with an enjoyable fast-paced walk along a meandering trail that was surrounded by breathtaking views. However, it soon became a much more testing adventure. It was when we were in the middle of our climb that I remember wanting desperately to go back down. I was no longer determined to make it to the top. I was tired of the loose rock we had to climb over and the places where instead of walking we were crawling on our hands and knees to make progress.

It was at this point we met a girl and her sister who shared the same frustrations. To make matters worse, one of them had fallen and hurt her leg. She was literally on her bottom, moving one shuffle at a time, trying to come back down a steep ravine to ground level. We tried to point out that she was actually closer to the top than she realized. And if she went down in that manner she would hurt herself more. It was seeing her willingness to quit so close to the top that made me assess my own attitude and refocus my desire to make it to the end. As a group we tried to encourage our fellow climber. We even suggested that if she came with us we could help her get to the top. After listening to and looking at our group (and maybe doubting our own ability to make it) she decided she didn’t want to go any higher and that she was going back down to the base. So off she went, painstaking shuffle by shuffle, edging herself down the mountainside. All the energy they had exerted to get this far was about to be rendered worthless, as they would never get to where they had set out to go.

Don’t allow the middle to intimidate you; don’t allow it to make you feel alone, and do not become so weary and disillusioned that you refuse the help God will try to send you. Just as we offered help to the injured climber to enable her to navigate through to the top that day, God wants to extend His helping hand to every one of us. The journey may be hard, and in the middle we may face moments where we are brought to our knees, but those moments are just the pause in your story, they are not the ending.