Krista Gilbert is one of my favorite people on the planet. And if you know her, she’s likely one of yours. Because she embodies hospitality, that is she has a welcoming spirit she carries with her that makes people in her path feel especially seen and loved. Really, I’m not kidding, if you know her I am certain you are nodding in agreement.
Krista is also a self-described “home body”. Her book that came out this year is titled Reclaiming Home for goodness sake! She likes to be in her house, with her people, feeding them and hugging them. So that makes her adventure the next few weeks of traveling across the world to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro on International Women’s Day, that much more remarkable.
So though Krista amazes me daily, she is human. She has fears of leaving and of going. She has physical limitations. And she is going anyway. She is walking through this door God has opened for her to join One Million Thumbprints to make this summit as part of a team to raise money and awareness around women and violence, especially sexual violence, in war zones.
The thought of her trek overwhelms me. And I want to help. But the truth is I can’t climb the mountain for her. And I live four states away, so I can’t even make dinner for her family. But I can pray for her. I can come to our shared Father daily, who will be with both of us simultaneously despite the distance between us, and ask for her protection. And I’ve promised her I will pray every day she is gone. I thought it might be nice for her to know the specific Scriptures I will pray for each leg of her journey so she can pray along with me. And I thought you might want to join in praying for her, and the entire One Million Thumbprints climbing team. So I’ve written out the verses I will meditate on the next few weeks as Krista is doing the hard work of climbing
Maybe you know Krista. Maybe you know one of the other women (and one man) making this trip. And maybe you want to do your part daily to ask for God’s nearness to be evident to the climbers and the people they meet. If so, please join me in these daily prayers of Scripture (all from The Message here). We can all do our part. And maybe like me, your part can happen in your daily routine as you bring Krista and her teammates to the One who holds all things.
“There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.
We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.” -1 John 4:18-19
“In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.” -Ephesians 4:1-3
“And we’re on our way through it, following orders, doing what God commanded when he said,
‘I’ve set you up
as light to all nations.
You’ll proclaim salvation
to the four winds and seven seas!’” Acts 13:47
“He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” –Luke 10:27
“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
“God’s blessing in your coming in,
God’s blessing in your going out.” –Deuteronomy 28:6
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30
“Stalwart walks in step with God;
his path blazed by God, he’s happy.
If he stumbles, he’s not down for long;
God has a grip on his hand.” Psalm 37:23-24
“But Jesus was matter-of-fact: ‘Yes—and if you embrace this kingdom life and don’t doubt God, you’ll not only do minor feats like I did to the fig tree, but also triumph over huge obstacles. This mountain, for instance, you’ll tell, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it will jump. Absolutely everything, ranging from small to large, as you make it a part of your believing prayer, gets included as you lay hold of God.’” Matthew 21:21-22
“You who sit down in the High God’s presence,
spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow,
Say this: “God, you’re my refuge.
I trust in you and I’m safe!”
That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps,
shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you—
under them you’re perfectly safe;
his arms fend off all harm.
Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night,
not flying arrows in the day,
Not disease that prowls through the darkness,
not disaster that erupts at high noon.
Even though others succumb all around,
drop like flies right and left,
no harm will even graze you.
You’ll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance,
watch the wicked turn into corpses.
Yes, because God’s your refuge,
the High God your very own home,
Evil can’t get close to you,
harm can’t get through the door.
He ordered his angels
to guard you wherever you go.
If you stumble, they’ll catch you;
their job is to keep you from falling.
You’ll walk unharmed among lions and snakes,
and kick young lions and serpents from the path.” Psalm 91:1-13
“Staying with it—that’s what God requires. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry, and you’ll be saved. All during this time, the good news—the Message of the kingdom—will be preached all over the world, a witness staked out in every country. And then the end will come.” Matthew 24:13-14
March 8th Summit Day!!!
“How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of the messenger bringing good news,
Breaking the news that all’s well,
proclaiming good times, announcing salvation,
telling Zion, “Your God reigns!”
Voices! Listen! Your scouts are shouting, thunderclap shouts,
shouting in joyful unison.
They see with their own eyes
God coming back to Zion.
Break into song! Boom it out, ruins of Jerusalem:
“God has comforted his people!
He’s redeemed Jerusalem!”
God has rolled up his sleeves.
All the nations can see his holy, muscled arm.
Everyone, from one end of the earth to the other,
sees him at work, doing his salvation work.” -Isaiah 52:7-10
“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!” –Ephesians 3:20-21
“But you’ll welcome us with open arms
when we run for cover to you.
Let the party last all night!
Stand guard over our celebration.
You are famous, God, for welcoming God-seekers,
for decking us out in delight.” Psalm 5:11-12
“At day’s end I’m ready for sound sleep,
For you, God, have put my life back together.” Psalm 4:8[i]