We had the coolest tree fort around. From a distance, it looked like a regular oak tree, except the leaves hung all the way down to the ground. When you walked through the leaves, there was a ready-made fort!
Inside, the branches of the tree went to the top like steps. A kid could walk up the branches so high they could poke their head out the top! Life at the tree fort was good. But life on Killer Hill was awesome.
Only the bravest attempted to conquer this “mountain.” Kids rode their bicycles down this dangerous hill. Others rolled down Killer Hill. Still others jumped. My brother, Bruce, was one of them.
Bruce, known as “Boochie,” was a daredevil. One day Boochie jumped Killer Hill.
A group of kids stood around to watch him jump. Boochie made a running dash and jumped into the air. But as he landed, his Tarzan sound effects changed into cries of pain.
The ambulance took Boochie to the hospital. His leg was broken. Now his new challenge was to walk with crutches with a cast on his leg. Boochie had not conquered Killer Hill. It had conquered him.
We all have “killer hills” that we face. Ours might be family or friends who die, things we want to happen, but don’t, parents that fight, or sickness. It might be trouble with homework, or brothers and sisters who tease us. Whatever our “hills,” we try to conquer them, just like when my brother tried to jump off the hill. But the hills often seem like they will break us, just like his leg was broken. Sometimes the hills seem too much for us.
The Bible says: “Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain” (Isa. 40:4).
In ancient times when a king journeyed through his kingdom, men went ahead of his chariot to flatten all the hills and fill up the holes so the king could travel in comfort.
It would be nice to have someone go ahead of us so no bad things would happen. While this isn’t the case, we do have Someone who stays by us. Jesus helps us conquer our “killer hills.” Through His power and strength, even though we may not yet see it, He is, like the men who went ahead of the king, making the mountains low, the crooked places straight, and the rough places smooth.
As we journey with God and encounter our killer hills, we know He will be with us. He gives us faith to believe that even though we may have been broken and discouraged by our mountains, we will be OK and when we look back at our killer hills, we really realize how small and insignificant they really were in comparison to the greatness of our God.
—Adapted from an article by Bonita Joyner Shields, that appeared in the February Adventist Review on pp. 44-45.
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