Several years ago now (I could never do this today) a friend and I decided to scale and descend the three mountain peaks of Mt. Carleton Provincial Park in northern New Brunswick, Canada. The three peaks are aligned in such a way that only the first and the last lead back to ground level. The middle peak is sandwiched between these.
The sky was partly cloudy as we ascended the first peak, Mt. Carleton (820m). As we began to climb the second, Mt. Head (792m), cloudy conditions dominated. By the summit we were in heavy rainfall. Turning back was just as far as continuing on, and besides that we had arranged with our wives to meet us on ahead. We pushed on and vainly hoped for possible clearing. Atop Mt. Sagamook (777m) we did not pause. No photos, just a scanning the terrain for the route down its opposite slope. I fell repeatedly on the slippery rocks as we made our seeming unending descent. It had been a great day but now the fun of it had waned and we just wanted the hike to end.
We were totally drenched making clothing and gear all the more heavy. “Well, l won’t need a shower tonight,” I quipped.
Of course becoming rain-soaked is no substitute for an actual soap and lather shower. We know this to be true physically, but do we grasp this truth spiritually?
This past Sunday our brother Joseph Irwin shared with us about the Grace which God pours down upon His children. “He showers us with grace” we say. “Get under the spout where the blessings come out” a one-time pastor often urged.
But to receive the best bathe in God’s blessed graces we must come to Him in humility… stripped naked, so to speak, that nothing interfere with the deep cleansing we repeatedly require. On this, both James and Peter agree…
“Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.’* Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Pet. 5:5-6).
“But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.’* Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:6-7).
“Peak performance” is only possible by our bathing daily in God’s abundant grace!
* Prov. 3:34