There is a Proverb that says, “The path of life leads upward for the wise to keep them from going down to the grave” (Proverbs 15:24).

Well, that explains a lot, doesn’t it? Why does God allow the things He does? Because the easy path isn’t necessarily the right path. Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the path that leads to destruction and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the path that leads to life and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).

Two paths that end at opposite destinations; yet, they are both always in our view and just one step apart. Disconcerting, isn’t it? That’s why we are to walk by faith, not by sight—trusting God’s love for us. And faith, like our bodies, in order to be healthy, needs to be exercised. Paul said:

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.  Therefore, I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.  No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).

Yes, we have a crown that will last forever waiting for us if we do not give up. So, we climb; and, God, in His kindness to us, has also placed some nuggets of gold along our upward path.

The admiration we receive from our sons and the hugs from our daughters. The affection from our wife and the satisfaction we feel from a job well done. It’s enough to keep us climbing. Then, at the end of our days, when we reach the summit we’ll hear those words: “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Imagine the King of Glory speaking those words to you and holding your crown in His hands.

The path of life leads upward; it’s not the easy road, but it’s so worth it.


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