Every Sunday when I was growing up, I would listen to gospel music on the radio with my Grandmom before we went to church. This was before the days of internet radio, and back when you could only hear gospel music on AM stations except for Sunday mornings. My favorite song was “Rough Side of the Mountain”. I loved to hear my grandmother sing it, and I would dig deep into my soul to my Southern roots and sing right along with her.
The lyrics, “I’m coming up on the rough side, of the mountain. I must hold to God. His powerful hands. I’m doing my best to make it in.” spoke to me even at a young age. It’s not that my childhood was terrible, but there were definitely some challenging parts. My parents were super young when they got married and had me, so in a lot of ways, we were growing up together. Fortunately, I was raised to know Christ at an early age, so even when the going got tough, I knew that I could “hold to God”. It wasn’t until I was older, though, that the song really resonated with me on a deeper level.
I was thinking about “the rough side of the mountain” earlier today, and about how, sometimes I climb up the part of the mountain that is more rocky and more dangerous than normal. It’s not because I have no choice, but it’s because I let pride or shame or fear stop me from taking God’s hand and letting Him guide me. Listen, I expect mountains. The Bible tells us in Genesis 3:16-19 that we will face difficult times, but even still God will be here for us. The thing is, I often make things even more difficult than they even have to be. Trying to lean to my own understanding….honey! Let me just tell you, that is the fastest way to find yourself stuck on the side of a rough, rocky mountain with no safety harness.
I’m learning to let go and let God lead me. I’m trying to decrease myself and be patient and make moves when He tells me to move, as opposed to when I think it’s time. I’m trusting in Him, and I’m letting Him be my safety. We all know that mountains are dangerous, and I’m not trying to fall.
Do you allow God to guide you, or are you trying to climb the mountain alone?