The Bumps Are What You Climb On
Does this sound like a book title? Well… that is exactly what it is! I recently pulled a book off the top shelf of my library by one of my favorite authors– Dr. Warren Wiersbe. Dr. Wiersbe was the pastor of my home church in Northern Kentucky during my youth. One evening, during the Wednesday night service, Dr. Wiersbe’s message touched my heart. After the service, my pastor sat down with me and explained the plan of salvation. I was only 9 years old at the time, but that night, I gave my heart to the Lord under the roof of Calvary Baptist Church in Covington, KY. It was Dr. Wiersbe that led me to the Lord, and so it began that I gave my trust to Christ.
I’ve read many of Dr. Wiersbe’s books, but never this one, in particular. With the title catching my attention, I pulled it off the shelf and began to read. I found that “The Bumps Are What Your Climb On” has thirty short devotionals that provide encouragement for difficult days. There is no doubt that the past 18 months have been filled with “bumps in the road” for each one of us. These unexpected twists and turns in our lives can easily cause us to be discouraged or derailed off the path that the Lord has laid out for us.
If you were to take some time to think about Biblical characters in scripture whose lives were filled with challenges and obstacles, you wouldn’t have to look very far. Abraham’s journey was filled with bumps– famine in the land, problems with his nephew (Lot), war in the land where Abraham had to go out and fight, his wife leading him astray with the result being the birth of Ishmael, and lastly, a time when he was asked to sacrifice his son on the altar! Abraham had to experience very difficult tests that would challenge his faith journey… BUT, it seems that Abraham used these “bumps in the road” to climb higher for the Lord.
Psalm 91 is a great song that provides assurance for those who put their trust in God. It also speaks of the care that God provides for His children. This song of Moses lists 11 different kinds of obstacles and dangers that can face us in our daily lives.
Dr. Wiersbe said this, “One of the greatest promises found in Psalm 91 has to do with the stones on the path. ‘For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.’ God doesn’t promise to remove the stones from the path, but He does promise to make them stepping-stones and not stumbling blocks. He promises to help us climb higher because of the difficulties of life.”
Hebrews 12:2 depicts that we are to look not at the circumstances that surround us nor to ourselves, but “unto Jesus”! My prayer for you this day is this– no matter what obstacles and challenges you may be facing, cast your gaze to the heavens. Look only unto Jesus!
For the JOY set before us,
Partnering with Catalyst International
For several years now, Barnabas International personnel has been partnering with Catalyst International in their men’s retreat– TRACTION. This year, three men from Barnabas were able to join the TRACTION staff to walk along 37 men coming from all over the globe— places like Iraq, Uganda, Morocco, Philippines, Russia, Ukraine, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan and more. These men are serving on the front-line of global ministry.
TRACTION is a 6-day experience designed to encourage global workers who serve cross-culturally and unlike any other kind of conference. It isn't about filling notebooks or honing leadership skills. It's about mentoring men in all phases of life (single men, husbands, fathers and leaders) who deal with tremendous amounts of stress cross-culturally.
TRACTION is focused on helping men navigate their roles to regain spiritual footing and momentum to move forward. Led by Dr. Daniel Hahn and a team of member care professionals, this week of restoration deals with issues like:
- Reconnecting with God through prayer
- Cultivating the character of authentic leadership
- Honoring God with our sexuality and relationships
- Persevering with courage and trust in the face of challenges
During the retreat, there are times for worship, reflection, group discussions, individual counseling/debriefing, recreation, hiking, solitude, and rest. All of this is approached within the context of life on the field as an international worker. This time of renewal is about taking care of your soul, which will fuel your ability to lead well in the work God has called you to do.
For more information about the TRACTION conference, click the link below:
- ELIM Retreat – October 24 - 29
- STILLife Retreat – November 8-12, 2021 (Registry closed by prayers needed)
- Interlude Debriefing Retreat, January 2022
- Barnabas Leadership Summit – January 27 – 30, 2022
- Barnabas Executive Leadership Team Meetings – January 31-February 5, 2022
Upcoming Staff Travel
- North Africa