• Stefan Youngblood

No Fear of Falling: At The Cross


Three weeks from today I’ll be in the Himalayas headed up to Mt Everest. After 8 years of writing blogs describing ups and downs, mountains and valleys, and a ton of references to the journeys life takes us on, I decided to do something beyond my limits, live out a dream, and believe God for the impossible. With God all things are possible. 


The desire actually started years ago…not to climb Everest, mind you, but to make the 75 mile RT trek to Mt Everest Base Camp. I should stop and clarify that basically I had enough air miles for a free round trip ticket. With some miles about to expire, just as in years past, I reasoned, “How far can I go on my free miles?” I could have chosen Newark…or Nebraska (not that there’s anything wrong with those places…or so I hear) but I realized I could actually take a free trip to Nepal, home of Mt Everest. I initially doubted everything. You can’t go there. It’s too far. It’s cold. You’ve never gone that high. You could fall off the side of a mountain. You could get charged by an angry yak…and the list goes on.  After much deliberation, and weeks of vacillating, I came to the conclusion that I could listen to fear, or faith. I walked into a Summit Church on a Saturday afternoon saying, “God I need a sign. Like right now!!!” I looked up and saw that the entire backdrop of the stage was a massive picture of…the Himalayas. Mt Everest. Below it, the word ”Sent.”  Bottom line is that things fell into place rapidly and a “Missions Trip” idea soon transformed into a trip with a mission. A mission to press on, to reach, to risk, to dream, to try, to trust, to GO with a small trained Nepalese team…and glorify God every step of the way. For a while I decided not to tell anyone, because, after all, I might fail. I might not make it. I might be the guy getting helicoptered out, or the guy coming down the mountain on a mule…or on the back of a yak. But such fear and faithlessness is not the God I know and serve and have come to trust. So here’s the catch. I’m going 18,000 feet up to the Base Camp of Everest. Teams from around the world will be there about to begin their ascent 12,000 feet higher. However, I’m not going up to 29,000ft peak. I don’t want to and I don’t feel called. Someone else has done that. That’s not MY mission. I’ll be at the point where technical climbers start their ascent. God reminds me this time of year that we’re called to come to the foot of the cross, not get up on it. That part’s already been done. Jesus did it, it was final, and no one else needs to. Although Everest has been conquered…by a 73 year old lady, a teenage boy, a blind man, a man with no legs, and so many more, I’ll be there at the foot…the base…the place where I was called to be. 


This Easter season, may we all find ourselves at the foot of the cross, not struggling and striving to redo the work Jesus has already finished, but simply at His feet. He hung up on the cross, conquered death and the grave so you don’t have to. Our mission is just to be obedient to what He’s called us to do. 


On a side note, The Discovery Channel will also happen to be in Base Camp at the same time. They’re doing a live broadcast of a man climbing to the top of Everest then jumping with nothing but a “Wing-suit” and flying right back into Base Camp. I hope my phone batteries are charged for that one. I pray you have a blessed Palm Sunday and find your place at the foot of the cross. Forgiveness, mercy and second chances await you.


There’s No Place Like Hope,


Stefan

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