Keep Climbing


Margaret Keary


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be 85? The length of life is humanly unpredictable for all kinds of subversions make our physical health uncertain. Disease may ravage the young, tension and pressure may fell the middle-aged at the zenith of success. However for that great Old Testament character Caleb, there was no thought of settling down or enjoying retirement. Not content with past achievements he asked, “Give me this mountain.” This was a portion of newly invaded Canaan, which he wanted as an inheritance.

The secret of his indomitable spirit was that “he wholly followed the Lord.” His active faith thrived in an atmosphere of total commitment to God. Caleb was more conscious of God than the problems. He was aware of the giant-sized difficulties facing him and his contemporaries, but reckoning on God’s power, he viewed giants as pygmies. Caleb also maintained his faith in days of testing, for during 40 years, he and Joshua were surrounded by people who had sufficient faith to take them out of Egypt but not into the Promised Land. Still he lived in quiet confidence and expectation that God would bring them into the land of Canaan.

We too, better to leave God in charge and remember Jesus’ words — “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons.” The important thing is not the tempo of life but its drive or thrust — that which stimulates actions and regulates the use of every hour.

However’ when the promise was fulfilled to Caleb, the intrepid mountaineer asked for the hill country around Hebron. It seemed a foolish project, but he faced the facts and assessed his assets. He was strong and had proved God for 80 years, so in the knowledge that God was with him, he successfully took possession. Later he bestowed his benediction on his daughter, who also requested springs of water to irrigate the land that he had given to her. Where did these springs come from? They flowed from Caleb’s mountain.

True greatness need not be limited to leaders or intellectuals. Humble men may also be great and a Naaman’s servant girl can be more significant than her master. There is true greatness in obscurity and quality in discipleship.

You may well be called to hidden service, where “the glory shall be revealed” at a future time. This may well be as vitally important as the few posts open for leadership. You may even only be one of God’s anonymous middlemen, for whom no page in history is reserved.

The decision to accept the place God has chosen for us is vital, because each link must be complete if the chain is to be strong. Death could not touch Jesus until his task was finished — then death became part of the task. The son of God became the Son of Man so that the sons of men might become the sons of God.

As co-labourers with Christ, the work which He gives us regulates our life span — we are deathless until we have fulfilled that purpose. As we take our eyes off the problems and look at His promises, we’ll possess our inheritance. Like Caleb, let’s die climbing for “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.”