Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Climb Every Mountain

"Climb Every Mountain"

By Ramone - June 16, 2003

I'd done a quick pen sketch of this at some date earlier. It came during a difficult time (see this story) when I was not working here in Japan, and my wife was under a lot of stress to provide. I didn't want to return to English teaching, but was having a difficult time finding other work.

To put it bluntly, I was afraid of working. Work wasn't a happy experience for me. My mother struggled from one job to another and was never able to stay doing what she loved most. My father was a workaholic who tried to get my brother and I to work at Grandma's house when he took us there for what was supposed to be our summer vacation, and he always seemed to be thinking about finances.

Don't get me wrong, I love my parents dearly. I am so grateful to them for everything, and for my life as well! I am so blessed to be loved by them. But no parent is perfect. And that's okay. God knows that! Each one of us grows up with pains and wounds -- some of us are abandoned, some feel rejected, and others are abused in one way or another. It's not important to assign blame and get apologies from them. We all fail and are going to fail again. I love the Greek verb in Romans 3 which literally says, we all "continue to fall short of God's glory".

God took me through a lot of healing and courageous steps. I simply grew up looking at "work" through a pair of tinted glasses. One lens showed pain, and the other loved work and said "time is money". Some dear friends prayed for me and helped me understand that Jesus has taken this yoke off of me! I now live under His yoke -- a yoke which is easy, a burden which is light.

Work will be a joy to me. It is a joy to me in Jesus Christ. It's worship and it's a dance. God redeems every bad thing you go through! He has redeemed my fear of work, and He is faithful to redeem all we commit to Him. So I'm waiting for that day when I know my parents, too, will experience His redemption of every painful part of their lives.

I used to hate having to get out of bed in the morning during my first months after having returned to Japan. I didn't want to face the boredom and the endless uphill struggle of trying to figure out what I wanted to do, where I could work, etc. It was all too heavy for me.

Jesus took that heaviness! Suddenly I woke up one day. Not in the morning, but after I was already awake, you know! I woke up and life smelled fresh. I would see the challenge. I would walk into the unknown and not be afraid.

I was walking through the old underground labryinth of Honmachi station and passed one of those old-and-probably-very-smokey-inside coffee shops, when I heard this operatic voice booming over their loudspeaker. I thought for a moment it sounded like that song the old nun sang in "The Sound of Music". I continued walking but stopped to go back and check. It was!

"Climb every mountain
Ford every stream
Follow every rainbow
'Til you find your dream"

"A dream that will need
All the love you can give
Every day of your life
For as long as you live"

God really lifted me up that day! That became my anthem for that time. I didn't know what my dream was, or what I was going to do. That would stunt and kill me in the past, but not anymore. I smelled the freshness of God and felt His call. I was energized by Him and I could ascend into the mountains of my life. Jesus is wonderful.


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