(Excerpt from the Preface to Leona's book in progress: “STILL MORE! Flourishing on My Summit” The third book in her “MORE” Trilogy)
I stand at the foothills gazing at the high mountain of my advancing years. It is unsettling. I seem to lack courage to climb another mountain given my failing body and diminishing strength. I'm not prepared—I haven't passed this way before. Somehow I missed enrolling in a class called “AGING 101.”
My own questions bombard me: How can I expect STILL MORE of God's goodness and mercy as I grow older? Haven't they run out, been used up, and are no longer available? Isn't rocking chair living all there is to look forward to? Shouldn't I be satisfied with 'been there--done that'? Isn't there only ho-hum living ahead? Hasn't God withdrawn His calling and purpose for my life at this late calendar season?
After all, I've done enough hill climbing in my lifetime. My zeal for exploration has leaked out. I think I've achieved my summit already. My greatest hours have come and gone. I deserve to take it easy. Can't I just settle down here in the shade of comfortable foothills and relax 'on the way Home'?
Mountains are known for their echoes. I listen for the echo of my own voice. I expect it to bounce back and agree with me, to imitate my despair.
A Voice does echo but it doesn't mimic my discouragement. It doesn't sound like my voice bouncing back to me...but I recognize Him! My Good Shepherd and I have a long track record so I know and trust His Voice.
Be of good cheer! It is pressing-on time. Dare to climb this mountain and reach the special summit which I have planned for you.
In Me you will have the courage to strive forward and discover the richness and blessings of summit living. That season of your life will be as flourishing as your verdant valleys have been. At your summit you can look through the lens of the Holy Spirit to see even further horizons, more peaks in the distance.
You are in your advanced years but they can be advancing years not retreating years. Come with Me to explore together 'what eye has not yet seen nor ear heard.' Stay hungry and thirsty for MORE of the fullness of what I have prepared for those who love Me and trust Me over the long haul. Be willing to stay the course, to persevere, to endure, to receive the prize of My high calling. My rod and My staff will comfort and sustain you.
Kindle again the fire in your soul that is burning low. Stir up the embers of your first love for Me. Embrace your latter journey with hope and optimism for I have promised never to leave you nor forsake you in your 'graying years.'
My purpose for your life is not complete yet. I have saved some of the best wine until last! So, “gird up your loins...,” pull up your socks, lace up your hiking boots, and climb to your summit with Me....