I wonder just how many of us come up against "mountains" in our lives and simply get defeated by the immense appearance of what lies ahead? Most of us have a tendency to do one of several things in order to "deal" with the mountain in our path. We either climb it, dig through it, go around it, or get stuck because we see no way around it. Not too many of us can honestly say we just tell it to move! Yet, this is the most biblical way to deal with everything from the molehill to the mountain! Even when we are making a mountain out of a molehill - telling it to move is the best response!
I tell you the truth, if your faith is as big as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. All things will be possible for you. (Matthew 17:20 NCV)
In looking at these options, let's consider why it is we may choose them:
- We choose to climb the mountain, not so much because we see it as a challenge and just want to overcome this obstacle, but because we cannot see over it, cannot imagine what may be on the other side of it, so we climb it. We have probably learned that "good things" in life are accomplished when we expend the effort to accomplish them. In other words, we have learned to rely upon taking the mountain instead of letting the mountain take us. The problem is, the climb may actually wear us out, leaving us short of ever getting over it! Exhausted by the climb, and sometimes even wounded beyond quick healing, we are left without ever realizing the goal. The other part of climbing is the downward hike to get onto level ground again. The idea of getting to the top is only part of the climb! In choosing to climb it, we must also find our way down to the path again. We expend a whole lot of time and energies with this climbing thing!
- We choose to dig through it, not because we want to, but because we somehow think unless we bore into the depths of the mountain, we will never know what made the mountain in our lives. Trust me, there are just some mountains you don't want to know that much about! They are just there, not for you to "explore", but to slow you down. In the time it takes to dig through them, exploring deep into the darkness of mountain, you are left with a whole lot of debris to deal with. The piles of stuff you "excavate" are really just contributing more debris into your life - not really helping you at all!
- We choose to go around it, not really stopped by it, not up to the challenge of climbing it, and certainly not interested in exploring its vastness, we simply set out to get around it. If this were a small hill, that might be possible in a short span of time, but the the larger the mountain, the longer the walk. In walking around the mountain, it still exists - it has a way of taunting us in our walk. The journey is problematic at times because we sometimes lose perspective when we walk around the mountain - forgetting where we started and then not really keeping a perspective about where it is we should end! The result is a rut! We just keep walking in circles until we are dug into the rut!
- We choose to just get stuck by it. For most who see the mountain as an insurmountable object in their path, the fear of the mountain actually "stalls them out". They just don't progress any further, taking not one more step to "deal with it". Instead, they camp out, resigned to the fact the mountain will always exist - it has always existed, it exists today, and it will always exist into our tomorrows. The real problem here is the sense of defeat this causes us and the lack of hope.
Now, neither of these methods is the best way to deal with the mountain. No amount of determination and self-effort gets us over, through, around, or unstuck from its shadow. All these rely upon US, not God. They rely upon what it is we do, not in the possibilities of what God can do. The challenge to us today is to not look at our mountain as a challenge! Instead, we need to learn to look at those mountains as God's opportunities to expand our faith. The passage tells us it takes but a tiny particle of faith to consume the mountain instead of us being consumed by it! Remember this - God's presence will always consume the mountain - we can just watch in awe as he deals with what we cannot. Isn't it better to "tell it to move" than to have to move ourselves over it, through it, around it, or find we can no longer move because of it? Just sayin!