We spilled out of the bus at the foot of the massive rock on which Masada was built more than 2000 years ago. We could've walked to the cable car that would take us to the top, but we were parked so close to the steps. Climbing the stairs seemed the logical choice, until we were half-way up.
The view was breathtaking, if the steps hadn't already taken your breath. The only way to the top, where the real views were, was to the keep walking. I'd been to Masada before, and I remembered looking over the expanse of the Dead Sea. I remembered marveling at the building expertise of first century architects who had included everything from rainwater-filled cisterns to a sauna, swimming pool, and palaces. It was worth seeing again.
I kept walking because I wanted what was at the end of the trail.
That's how Sam and I are doing this hard end-of-life work. We want the blessings that await us, so we're pressing on, even when it's difficult. We had two good nights this week, when we were only up once during the night. If you count the time from when he went to bed until he's out of bed in the morning, Sam was up four times last night. So was I.
Caregivers know this routine well, as do parents of infants. It's not unusual, but it is hard, because disrupted sleep takes a toll. Sam will nap today and get caught up. I won't, and it's okay. It's just a season, and God wouldn't have entrusted it to us if He didn't expect us to see it through.
Not all seemingly-interminable climbs in life involve caregiving. Whether it's a difficult employment, a troubled relationship, a rebellious child, or a chronic illness, we all have something that presents a challenge that "feels" insurmountable. If we believe what we say we believe about our God, we know it's not impossible.
We make our way through our trials the same way I reached the top at Masada. One step at a time. Even when those steps are hard to make.
No matter how difficult our circumstances, we must keep our eyes on the goal, not the path. Press on. Blessings await at the end of the road.
"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14 niv
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