Devotional: October 24th
Sixteen steps. Every morning I face them. Sixteen steps. They are part of my regimen right when I get up. Sixteen steps. That's the number of steps I go up to get to my second floor shower and office every morning en route to doing this column. Sixteen steps. They seem to get steeper each day, especially when the weather turns a little cold and we stop keeping the house at 75 degrees. Sixteen steps. For an arthritis sufferer like me those sixteen steps can seem like an eternity.
Way back when steps were nothing. I can remember after basketball practice running the steps in the gymnasium at Miami Trace High School near Washington Courthouse, Ohio. We would run them for fifteen minutes to half an hour. I can remember playing football in the Knoxville, Tennessee area. Didn't need steps there. I ran in the countryside up and down the hills. Those days were lengthy as I ran every day at least five miles on those country roads.
The hills of my youth were much steeper and ever so easier to climb than those sixteen steps I have now. But look at the differences. When I was actively involved in football and basketball I was in my teen years. My body was fit and I was working out every day to get into shape and stay that way. It's been over forty years since I played my last basketball game in high school. Only played my freshman year. In those forty years I have suffered multiple knee injuries and shoulder injuries as well as the usual ankle problems attendant to such sports. Arthritis has moved into those injured areas to remind that they were one time healthy.
Now they ache. Sound like I am complaining? To a certain extent I guess I am. But consider this. There was a man who had his own hill to climb one day. He wasn't out for a Sunday stroll in the park. He wasn't running the hills to strengthen His legs. He was carrying a load up that hill both literally and figuratively. On His shoulders was a cross upon which He was to be laid and then to which He was to be nailed. He was being made to carry that burden up a hill called Golgotha.
But Jesus carried a greater burden that day. He carried my sins. He had already been beaten as was Roman custom. He was near death from the beating. Still He carried my sins. We are told that he suffered beneath the weight of the cross and needed help to carry it. But He carried my sins alone. My sins. The reason for His sacrifice. "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Corinthians 5:21 Every time I take my sixteen steps upstairs I remember that Jesus' last sixteen steps up Golgotha were for me.
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