I wondered if our Christian journey could be compared to lochs and switch backs. If you have ever seen a boat move through a system of lochs from one waterway to another, you observe the boat enters at one elevation yet exits at another. Since the water on the other side of the loch is either higher or lower, the boat enters the loch, the door is closed and the level of water increases or decreases to enable the boat to proceed to the next waterway. The boat waits in the small area until the water level is exactly right. Then the loch on the other side is opened and the boat moves seamlessly into the next body of water. So it is in our spiritual lives. The Lord may want to move us into a new phase of life yet the level is different from where we are currently. We must wait in a loch until God determines we have reached the right maturity to move into the place He has prepared for us.
At other times, it is not merely a period of waiting, but I seem to be heading in a direction leading away from God’s goal for me. If you have ever ascended a mountain by vehicle (Pike’s Peak being a classic example), you find yourself driving higher and higher, hairpin turn following hairpin turn. At times you feel you will fall right off the edge. Spiritually, I may question the seemingly backward direction my life route is taking and occasionally I feel as if I am about to plummet over a cliff. In the Lord’s omniscience, He makes the ascent manageable. My path switches back and forth, yet the apparent backtracking is moving me closer to the summit.
While I may not understand the delays and reversals, I “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14