Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9

There is a hill that I ride up on my bike. That’s what I do; I ride my bicycle for health and sanity. I don’t ride with others. I’m with others most of the day, so when riding, I’m a serial soloist.

I can leave when I want, ride where I want, and stop when I want. I develop my world as I ride. I’m the standard. If someone passes me, they are a show-off; and if I pass someone, they are a sluggard.

I make these judgement calls because it’s my world.

I climb this hill. Not just any hill but the hill. It has three slopes. Up one, and then a bit of flat to rest. But before I’m totally rested, up another slope to a bit of flat to rest again. But not quite enough time, and then the final uphill segment.

Up, and not enough rest before up again; and not enough rest before up again.

I want to quit. I see the top at only 50 feet away. Can I make it? It would be easy to stop.

The greatest temptation to quit is right before the end. You are the most tired and frustrated right before you peak the hill.

I’m weary now. Almost 50 years as a pastor and this last upward slope has been steep. I haven’t climbed this hill before, and no one else has either. My age, COVID, justice, current theologies of doubt abounding, fear, and no clear end.

Biblical hope says that I am near the top; it is right around the corner. God will not allow me, or you, to be tempted beyond what we can endure.

Years ago, during the Tour de France, right before the crest of a hill, someone threw out hundreds of small pointed tacks. The cyclists flatted. They had to stop. Nothing like it had happened before or since.

The soon return of Jesus is very near. The devil has thrown his virus. Church buildings around the world have totally shut down, or if open, have a 70% decrease in attendance. I’m getting reports that Christians aren’t praying more, or giving more, or spending more time raising their children in the Lord.

Are we stopping right before the top of the hill?

Pretty depressing. Satan wins. Or does he? The Bible speaks of a great “falling away toward the very end” and at the same time the Bible speaks of a great revival.

During my time with the Lord this week, I’ve been asking about the top of the hill. The Bible says it is close; not seen clearly now, but right around the next bend in the road.

I pray that I will see you at the top.

Back to the Tour de France. The cyclists stopped and changed their tires. Most of them, before they resumed the climb to the top, took time to brush away the tacks so their competitors could have an easier climb.

The church needs to lead the way, making it easier for everyone to reach the top.