My feet start to slip coming down the mountain. From the pinnacle of God's grace and presence, I now find myself starting to slip toward the ravine of self-pity. I loose my footing and slip off the path.
On the way down, I grab for a boulder, named self-sufficiency, but my grip isn't strong enough to hold my weight. I try to hold on tighter but eventually I let go, my arms aching from the pressure of my own weight.
I try desperately to get back on the path but lose my footing and continue to tumble. I grab for the next boulder on my way down, a boulder named guilt. This boulder holds my weight for a moment but eventually gives way and crushes me. I can't get up. I lay on the path for a moment before getting up only to slip again. A tiny pebble named distraction causes me stumble. My feet slide out from underneath me and I slide into a boulder named anger, I knock it and it tumbles down the other side of the mountain. This massive boulder crushes the fellow sojourners behind me. I desperately try to regain my footing and slow down the descent. I see one more bolder on the path before I slip over the edge into the ravine. This bolder is named sorrow. I grab for it and hold on. I know I don't have long.
I see a man in the distance. He sees me in my distress and runs towards me. As He gets closer I notice the blood on His hands and on His feet. I notice the sorrow on His face. He is a strong man so I let go of the boulder and fall into His arms. He asks me, "are you thirsty, my child"? I reply, "terribly thirsty". He gives me some water and carries me down the mountain. I hold onto Him tightly and beg Him not to let me go. He assures me of this and I rest. I relax in the arms of this man who is strong enough to carry me down the mountain. A man that willingly bore my sins and carried the burden of my iniquities. A man by the name of Jesus.
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth. Isaiah 53:3-7
Picture taken by me in Joyce Kilmer National Park