So a couple of weeks ago I was watching Dateline (judge me, you partying 20 year old college students) and there was a piece about Mount Everest.
Now that I’m trying to get healthy, pieces like this really interest me, where people overcome things that should be impossible. They push their limits and they sometimes defy nature.
This particular segment followed 3 travelers on their journey through Everest. Two of which were experienced climbers and one woman, Shriya Shah, who wasn’t quite as prepared as the other two. She had the will though and where there is a will there is a way. She had dreamt of climbing Everest her entire life and she was going to do it. The climb itself isn’t a straight shot (obviously), you stop at many camps until you finally reach camp 3 where you spend the night and then you stop at camp 4 but you don’t sleep, from there you summit to the top. These camps leading up to the summit are the toughest climbs and where you start to lose oxygen and have to use an oxygen tank.
Not trying to overload you guys on information, just trying to give you a back story. So once you have reached camp 3, you have already climbed over 23,000 feet. This is usually the span of about 18 days. So you are tired but you are almost to the top. How incredible it must have felt to reach camp 3 and know that the next camp would be camp 4 and then you get to summit to the top. Well unfortunately for Shriya, she was just moving too slow. By the time she reached camp 4, she just didn’t have enough oxygen to summit. When you travel to Everest, you have a tour guide called “Sherpa” with you. Her sherpas told her that she could not summit because she would not make it back down, she just didn’t have enough oxygen. But she wouldn’t listen. I mean its MOUNT EVEREST. I’m not sure you would be able to get me down either. Luckily someone had extra tank of oxygen, about 12 hours worth. Shriya took this as her opportunity to climb.
AND SHE MADE IT! She saw the peak. She did something that only 500 people or less do every year. She sat up there for 30 minutes, just starting at God’s handiwork. How marvelous that view must have been. And all that work done to get there, I just can’t even imagine.
Unfortunately this story does not have a happy ending. I’m warning you of this now. Shriya took 8 hours to summit. We can all do math so if she had 12 hours of oxygen and she used 8 to get up, she only has 4 to get down. This is a recipe for disaster. Without going into too much detail, Shriya died on that mountain. She couldn’t make it down because she just didn’t have the oxygen or the strength, the other climbers had to leave her because once you’re up there, you are essentially on your own. Trying to save another climber could kill both of you.
Now let’s think of the other two climbers, they decided not to summit when Shriya did because of conditions and their Sherpas told them that they couldn’t. So they went back to Camp 3, depressed and defeated. They had made it 23,000 feet…and they didn’t see the top?
Well they woke up the next day with courage and strength and will, and good mountain conditions didn’t hurt either. Their sherpas told them that they could do it today and they did it. They saw the top of the mountain, they got that famous picture and they just sat in the beauty of being almost 30,000 feet in the air. They made it back down safely and they are alive today. All because they listened to reason and waited on the right timing.
I do not want to damage Shriya’s legacy in this but what if she had just waited, what if she just got over the fact that she hadn’t prepared enough and left the mountain? Her sherpas warned her that she would die up there and she did it anyway. All she had to do was listen but the dream she had overwhelmed the truth of the situation.
My heart broke for Shriya, for her husband, and for her family. How heartbreaking to hear that your wife died while trying to accomplish her dream. But my heart resonated with Shriya. I have been there. Heck, I am there right now. I have so many things that I just want to do but I feel like God is just saying nope.
But then I thought, what if God isn’t saying no, what if He is just saying later?
What if He wants me to wait because death awaits me? What if He knows what’s coming if He gives me my desires and it will not benefit me in any way?
Maybe He’s just telling me to wait.
He knows the peak of Mount Everest. He knows the peak of my life, He knows the peak of your life. He knows what is to come in our life and He has abundantly more for us. But He has it at the right time.
Sometimes in seasons of our lives, we have waited and waited for something, we have prepared for it and we think we are ready, only to be let down. Only to have that time come and have our dreams crushed by reality. We sit in confusion, we sit in fear, and we absolutely doubt Jesus’ work in our life.
Why is this our first reaction? Why do we automatically think that JESUS is wrong and why don’t we look to ourselves? In hindsight, Shriya was not prepared for Everest at all. Her training program was incredibly light and just not enough to help you climb 30,000 feet. Maybe we are not prepared for what God has for us. Maybe our hearts simply haven’t trusted HIS wisdom enough to do what He wants us to do.
Maybe you think you’re ready for something and heck maybe you are, but if you are too confident in yourself and not Jesus, you will fall flat on your face.
The most experienced climber could die on Everest. Why? Because they won’t listen to anyone else.
Don’t be that person. Don’t turn from Jesus simply because you think you know more about your life. Waiting can be incredibly hard, especially when you think you’re ready…but I promise you, failing at your dream will be much worse.
Trusting His wisdom is tough for my dominant, independent heart but I know that He is better. I’ve been reminded over and over again of His faithfulness in my life and I’m sure that you have been too, you just need to look a little harder. If you feel like God is saying no to a dream of your heart, I urge you to examine it, look at what it is and trust God’s character. Trust that He is faithful and will do what He has promised.
If nothing else, I hope you are encouraged by this today. Be encouraged that God thinks HIGHER of you than you think yourself. He isn’t trying to hold something back in your life, He wants His glory to be made famous through you. He adores you, He loves you, and He cherishes you. Maybe all you need to do is trust Him.
Maybe once you relinquish trust to Him, you won’t be so worried about those dreams that haven’t come yet.
“Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!”
Praying and waiting,