Conquering the Uphill Battles

by Dorcas Asercion Zuniga

The walk down to the dining hall from our motel that first evening of our church retreat in the mountains of Lynchburg, Virginia was pleasant and filled with the anticipation of a wonderful meal. The only problem was we had to walk back to the motel—uphill.

For our return trip, my husband Zee and I chose the route with the stairs. Not so pleasant. The steps were so steep, and it didn’t help that my tummy was full. We decided after the next meal to take the road back up.

The paved path back to the motel was a more scenic route. But it was still a climb. During those postprandial journeys, my legs threatened to give out midway through our trek. The muscles in my lower back cramped up mercilessly. For the most part, I was able to push through the pain and reach our destination. But many times I needed to stop and wait for my weak, aching muscles to regain their strength.

During several of those uphill battles (for me anyway), Zee wanted to stop to take pictures. Those little rest periods revived my fatigued muscles enough to make the rest of the ascent more tolerable.

When I experience physical fatigue, the remedy is rest. What about mental fatigue?

Recently Zee underwent shoulder surgery. The morning of his surgery, after only three hours of sleep, I drove him to the hospital to check in, headed back home to get our son ready and off to school, then raced back to the hospital to see Zee before they took him back to the operating room. While I was physically still in the waiting room, my mind kept on going. I kept thinking about how I needed to get our son to school the next day before going to my office, finish seeing my first set of patients in time to pick him up from school and bring him home, and then get back to my office in time to see the rest of my patients. Breathe.

Instead of focusing on one task at a time, I was looking at the mounting stack of responsibilities all at once. I found myself mentally overloaded and struggling with another uphill battle because my strength tank was going on empty.

“But they that wait upon [Yahweh]* shall renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31a KJV, emphasis mine).

I needed to sit … and wait. Wait on the One who is omnipotent. Wait and rest in His presence and rely on His power. And when I did, He renewed my strength. As I checked off each task, I prayed for and received the mental and physical strength to get through the next one on my list. I just needed to take the time to wait on Yahweh instead of relying on my own efforts.

There is a danger I face when I allow physical and mental fatigue to overwhelm me. During those times of weakness, I find it difficult to overcome spiritual challenges. I struggle with hurt over broken relationships. I worry about the influences of this world on my family. I battle with critical and judgmental thoughts that threaten to overtake my love for others. And when I feel my faith weaken, the enemy tries to keep me from climbing to spiritual victory by taking away my hope.

“But those who hope in [Yahweh] will renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31a NIV, emphasis mine).

When I place my hope in the One who can mend relationships, protect my loved ones, and purify my thoughts, my faith is restored.

In our faith journey, we must be strong spiritually, but also physically and mentally. When we find ourselves struggling, we need to turn to the Everlasting One who “will not grow tired or weary” (Isaiah 40:28 NIV).

Those who wait on Yahweh and put their hope in Him will have their strength renewed. And “they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31b NIV).

Just imagine! Not only will we be able to walk and run up the hills that stand in our way, we will soar high above them.

We just need to wait on Yahweh.

Why is it sometimes difficult to wait on Yahweh? In what situation do you need your strength renewed?


*Yahweh is the Hebrew name of God the Father, as revealed to Moses in Exodus 3:15.

© Copyright 2019 by Dorcas Asercion Zuniga


Dorcas Asercion Zuniga is relatively new to the world of writing and has been blessed to have her works included in Refresh Bible Study Magazine and Feed Your Soul with the Word of God, Collection 1. She also enjoys writing for Broken but Priceless: The Magazine.

Dorcas is a practicing family medicine physician in Virginia, where she lives with her husband and son. You can share in her life stories and reflections by visiting her at and


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spiritual battles, victory, waiting on God, hope, Isaiah 40:31, Dorcas Asercion Zuniga, Conquering the Uphill Battles, Sustaining Life’s Victories, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Comments (1)

  • anon

    Loved this post Dr. Zuniga! Maintaining our balance in all things (mind, body, and soul) is so important. In my spiritual journey, I've found that when any one of these are off, that's when the struggles ensue ma'am.  Praying for Zee's full recovery from shoulder surgery. It's a long and sometimes painful recovery. Well said author!

    Oct 08, 2019

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