This is me. Torrance, Los Angeles, California is where I took my first breath. It is where my mother held me for the first time. With a smile on her face, I hope.
Now, a few 21 years later, I can gladly say: I am thankful. Thankful for the life God gave her. God gave me.
In my short life I have met inspiring persons and seen beautiful parts of the world. America, Asia, Africa, Europe. A globe trotter in my younger years, when I pursued my climbing career. I am grateful for my parents, trainers and climbing buddies. Thankful for their encouragements and support.
With a smile on my face I have closed that chapter of my life a while ago. I will never forget though. Climbing itself can be a metaphor for ‘life’. Do we all not have a tough, rocky road to travel? We climb and fall, climb, fall.. and still continue on climbing. Why? To reach the top. For what? To be the best? No. So that we may look back on our climb. Our personal tests of endurance and perseverance. To see that even when we thought we couldn’t , we can.
Not alone though. You need others around you. A helping hand, a guiding light. Words that push you over the edge. -Not the edge of the cliff of course.- To conquer a mountain together. How great is that!
But what direction, you may ask. Well, I don’t know yours. For I don’t know all of your goals in life. What I do know is this: “I know the plans I have for you. Plans to give you hope and a future”. ~ Jeremiah 29:11 . This is what God would like you to know.
‘God. Meh.. Seriously. Is this another sugary and boring story of God? That God loves me? Yeah, well how about all this crap in my life then. How can He love me and still put me through all this?’
I am sorry. I do not know. I do know: God = love. God made you out of love. His deepest desire for you is that you may know and love Him too.
However, can it be truly love if you did not have a free choice? To believe in Him: Yes or No? To engage a relationship with Him: Yes or No? Is love without the ability to make your own decision really love? The answer is probably no. Otherwise we would all know and have seen Him.
No. He wants you to love Him, but out of free will. For He is the Creator of the Universe, the sun, the moon, the stars, the planets, earth, the oceans, the continents, the mountains, the valleys, nature, the animals and last but definitely not least: you!
You are the whipped cream on top of the apple pie. The best. Perfect in His eyes. Or at least apple pie with whipped cream is perfect in mine. When you enjoy the life He gave you, He enjoys it with you. When you laugh, so does He. When you cry and suffer, He cries and suffers with you. There is no place, not even the highest of mountains, or at the bottom of the oceans, where God cannot find you.
Remember: suffering is not from God. He does not condemn you or puts you through sufferings, because He wants to punish you. Suffering is a result of sin. Sin comes from bad choices, which derive from having free choice. Our own conscience. A mind and will of our own.
We try and try to be good or better people. To love each other, to love our neighbor as ourselves. But sometimes we trip. We slip from the foot hold in our climb towards the mountain peak. We sin and fall. Yes, we all fall at some point.
Thankful. Grateful. Overjoyed! Sin and inevitably death, it is not the end! For God gave His one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. ~ John 3:16
Jesus was human. So He could live without sin. For a righteous God, just as a good judge would, has to give everyone a suitable punishment for their sins. God can not be with sin. That would mean as sinners, we could not be with Him. Luckily: Jesus. Or actually: ‘Lovingly: Jesus’. He willingly, out of love, laid down His life for us. So that He could bear our sins, your sins. He died for you on the cross and rose from death again after 3 days.
So, we don’t have to climb mountains, try to better ourselves, try to make amends, to stand before God. It is already done. The path to life and true love is clear..
‘Everybody has troubles, but not everybody has Jesus.
Jesus makes the difference.’