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Trapped Ice Climber Remembers His Father's Words

In June of 1992, Jim Davidson and Mike Price climbed Mt. Ranier. On the way down from the summit, the two climbers fell 80 feet through a snow bridge into a glacial crevasse, a pitch-black, ice-walled crack in the massive glaciers that cover Mt. Ranier. Mike Price died.

In his book The Ledge, Jim Davidson tells the story of his miraculous survival and courageous climb out of the crevasse. Throughout the book, Jim reflects back to his childhood and young adult years, describing his relationship with his father.

As early as Jim can remember, his father had shown what some considered an almost reckless confidence in his son. Jim worked for his father painting high, steep-pitched roofs and electrical towers as early as age 12. The work terrified his mother, but Jim's father kept communicating his belief that Jim could accomplish great things if he pressed through adversity and kept going.

As Jim stood, bloodied and bruised, on the two-foot wide snow ledge next to the body of his climbing partner, he heard the voice of his father. The years of inspiration that Jim's father had invested in him flooded back into his mind and washed over him with encouragement.

With minimal gear and no experience in ice climbing at that level, Jim spent the next five hours climbing out, battling fatigue and the crumbling ice and snow that threatened to bury him. Throughout his ordeal, Jim kept recalling the words of his father. Five grueling hours later, thanks to his father's words, Jim climbed out of the crevasse to safety.

Possible Preaching Angles: (1) Fathers are called to speak words of life that challenge and inspire their sons and daughters; (2)The Holy Spirit encourages us by reminding us of the words of Christ; (3) Scripture—when we're tempted to give up, the promises of the Bible give us hope to persevere.

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