Come On Up

After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him, but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.” Acts 9:23-25

Ice climbing is perhaps the most dangerous specialty in mountain climbing – but it’s one that some climbers choose to do! count on other believersThe most challenging are frozen waterfalls. One climber described them this way: 60 – 70 feet wide and about 200 feet from the base to clifftop. 

Every ice climber wears crampons, a steel frame with spikes that strap to their boots. The first order of business for prospective climbers is to learn to move from side to side on an ice wall while wearing crampons. Next comes technique. Each style applies to a different phase of the climb and involves the placement of the boots parallel to the ice. called French; one boot toe pointed in and one boot parallel, called American; and finally, both boot tips jammed into the ice, called German.

Some walls have a lower-grade pitch – twenty to thirty degrees. It is tougher to climb when the pitch is thirty five to sixty degrees, and even more difficult between sixty and ninety degrees. At ninety degrees, a climber has to haul himself up with his whole body – arm strength alone is not enough. Ice climbers also wear a safety harness, with one end of a rope threaded through it. The other end of the rope is fastened securely at the top of the wall, where other team members anticipate a fall and take some of the slack out of the rope, preventing serious injuries to the climber. 

Isn’t that how it is in many endeavors? We think we only need to use one technique or that our strength alone will help us get by. Then we realize we must pray, study God’s word, and learn to lean on other believers from time to time to make it to the top. We can gather all the right equipment to climb the wall – crampons, ax, hammer, warm clothing, and gloves – but it’s not enough. As we scale our chosen wall each day, it’s comforting to know Someone at the top is holding onto our rope too!

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