There is a lot to learn from being in the mountains for weeks at a time. God's voice seems to resound clearly within when the pace of life slows to food being cooked over a fire, travel dropping to under 3 miles per hour, and carrying all you need in fifty-five pounds of back-pack. You find yourself so far removed from the noise of life that you truly learn what it means to "be still and know that He is God". It was in this posture that God revealed to me a powerful revelation from Exodus 1:11-12.
"So the Egyptians made life hard for the Israelites. They put slave masters over them, who forced the Israelites to build the cities Pithom and Rameses as supply centers for the king. But the harder the Egyptians forced the Israelites to work, the more the Israelites grew in number and spread out. So the Egyptians became very afraid of them..."
This scripture really caused me to reflect on certain things I myself have taught, and have been taught from podcasts, books, and more. Let's just call this teaching, for all intensive purposes, the "Everyday is Friday" doctrine. This is the belief that life is supposed to be perfect. It's the teaching that says your bank account will never be empty, your family will never be sick, you'll always be in a good job situation, and your car will never break down. It's the idea that keeps believers in the valley, and rarely summiting the peaks of who God really is.
While hiking in the Frankchurch River of No Return Wilderness quite a few team members and myself were exposed to a parasite known as giardia. Giardia has many symptoms, but the one I felt most intensely were severe stomach pains. I would hike through most of a day without any discomfort, but suddenly experience sharp aches in my lower abdomen. The day that the above picture was taken, was one probably my worst days pain wise.
We started out from camp to summit a peak, and honestly I felt amazing to begin with. It was a day hike so instead of moving camp, we packed only small packs with a little food and water. This was also one of the first days that we were going to gain some altitude, and if you know me I was rearing and ready to go! Heading straight up a mountain is my idea of a good time. However, a few thousand yards into the expedition I began to feel those retched abdominal pains. Sadly, at this point everyday was not Friday. I had a choice to ask my team to turn around and return to camp, or push forward and experience a view that very few people get to enjoy. I could have allowed an area where I was weak to hold me back, or transform a problem into opportunity to make myself stronger.
If I believed that everyday was Friday, then I probably would have gone back down to camp, waited until I felt better, and completely missed out on a beautiful "God painting" as pictured above. Instead, I realized that life doesn't always present fair weather to its travelers. I accepted that EVERYDAY IS NOT FRIDAY! Because of it I got to see a breath taking portion of God's creation, I felt stronger physically and mentally, and I heard God's voice teaching me a valuable lesson.
The bottom line of life is that there are times when your bank account will be bone dry, people in your family or even yourself will be sick, you won't always have the best job situation, and your car may not start every morning. Am I advocating that we stop believing for break through in our life? Absolutely not. I just want to set you free from the idea that a perfect life is equal to the perfect will of God.
The saying "what does't kill you makes you stronger" maybe so cliche, but it is the God honest truth. It wasn't only in the good times when Israel became stronger. It was when the Egyptians were weighing them down with labor and difficulty. It was in the fire that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego saw the face of Jesus. It was hiding in the caves while Saul pursued his life that David was shaped into a king. It was on the cross that Jesus won our freedom. It was in the midst of persecution that the apostles received boldness to go into the nations. It was in prison that most of our New Testament was written. It is in the camps of ISIS that the blood of believers cries out for salvation in the Middle East.
Everyday is not Friday, but every problem is an opportunity to become stronger. In John 16:33 Jesus says, " Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." So be encouraged. If your life isn't perfect than that just means you are on the same playing field as 99% of those written about in the Bible!