“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

Separation Hill

(Please read Philippians 4:13)

July 28

During World War II, an army fort in Missouri was the training site for thousands of recruits, just as it had been in the previous World War. While that fort was and is an impressive institution, most of the men who received basic training there probably remember it more for a geographical feature than anything else. It had lots of hills, memorable less for their beauty than for the difficulty of hiking across them day after day.

One of the hills had a meaningful nickname. It was the last and largest hill the trainees had to cross in returning to camp from many field exercises, and the platoon leader would gleefully explain that this was Separation Hill, where the men were separated from the boys. Believing him, the young recruits would reach deep for the extra effort required to get to the top and show that they were men.

Sooner or later in life, most of us encounter more than one “separation hill.” Not physical hills but real obstacles that present challenges and trials to overcome or be overcome by. But the beautiful thing about it, for Christians, is that we don’t have to climb those hills under our own power or under the goading of a platoon leader.

For we have a Friend who has promised to be with us all the way. Exulting in his presence, we can confidently say, with Paul, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (NAS). That’s a good thing to keep in mind even on days when there are no hills to climb.

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