Life’s Mountains, part 2 – July 2011

This month’s devotional is the second of a 3-part series by Legacy Retreat attendee Cheryl Broyles.

Five – Faith: The statistics show 70 % of the people attempting to climb Mount Shasta fail and never make it to the peak.  Our guide felt it was not due to physical fitness of the people, but mental attitude.  Faith.  I was so determined to make it to the peak, I kept my faith and I succeeded.  Same with cancer.  I’m not saying I have been cured with faith.  My goal with cancer is to live with peace, joy and a smile on my face while going through it!  That’s my cancer peak.  Faith gets me there.  My faith is in Christ, he is my refuge – Psalm 62:8

Six – Teamwork: On Mt. Shasta during the dangerously steep part of the climb we all needed to be tied together with rope and harnesses.  So if one person fell, the others would drop and slam their ice ax into the slope, holding on tight, keeping them from sliding down the mountain.  Being part of the team had many benefits – safety, feeling of security, keeps you at a good pace.  I don’t know if I would have made it to the peak with out the teamwork.  It is the same way while I climb the mountain of brain cancer.  I am blessed to have many teams helping me – my family, my church, my doctors, my caregivers, internet support groups.  Taking the challenge with teamwork, makes me feel like it is more do-able.  I love Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 that tells us how two are better than one!

Seven – Working through Pain: You guys have heard of the saying “No pain, No gain.”  I had to work through pain to make it to the peak of Mount Shasta.  My thighs were on fire, they burned with each step.  My boots cut into my shins.  Our guide told us “You need to work through your pain”.  If you stopped because of the pain, your muscles would tighten up and it would get worse.  I needed to work through the pain.  Same for me working through cancer, it can be painful for sure.  Physical pain and emotional pain!  I need to “keep on keeping on” as David Bailey said.  I need to keep working through the pain or it will take me down.  Pain can also bring benefits!  Like giving birth brings us our child.  James 1:2-4 tells us how suffering and pain builds strength and perseverance.  And 1 Peter 5:10 tells us how God restores us after the pain.

Eight – Taking Breaks: During the climb, every hour or so, we took a break.  We sat up strait, relaxed, took deep breaths, and checked our gear to make sure everything was in order.  Living through brain cancer I need breaks too.  I find a still quiet place and do nothing.  It’s refreshing!  Silence is beautiful!  It’s like hitting the “reset” button on the computer.  After my break, my brain works clearer.  See Psalm 46:10