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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Not just another mountain

I look up at the vast size of the mountains—from where will my help come in times of trouble? The Eternal Creator of heaven and earth and these mountains will send the help I need. He holds you firmly in place; He will not let you fall.  He who keeps you will never take His eyes off you and never drift off to sleep.  (Psalm 121:1-3 VOICE)

There are two ways to look at mountains in our midst - either as that which is never going to let us past, or as that which can bring our deliverance.  So many times we view the mountains as that which stops us in our tracks - formidable obstacles, unable to be moved, and hard to cross over.  We cannot go through them because they are immovable, would crash down on top of us, and would take lots of resources we don't have at our disposal.  We cannot go under them because mountains don't come equipped with underground passageways!  We could walk all the way around them, but that would be lots and lots of extra work, time, energy, and challenges that would tax our resources.  The quickest way to deal with the mountain is not to go around it, but to get over it!  As good as my climbing skills might be in some situations where I can easily get my footing, the sheer climb upward is sometimes the most challenging, making me want to give up on the climb!  Yet, there is no way over until we make progress upward.

Too many of us look at the size of the mountain in front of us and make the determination there is no way to ever get beyond it.  We "settle" for life at the foot of the obstacle in front of us - thinking we have to just deal with it obstructing what lies just on the other side of it - making all that lies beyond out of our reach.  Our psalmist reminds us God doesn't make mountains as obstacles, but as sanctuaries and as vantage points!  They can become the very thing we need to get clearer perspective.  As I traveled a few weeks ago high up into the mountains of Arizona, one of the places we stopped to explore was a mountain rim upon which you could look out over one valley after another, one mountain after another, until they faded into the distance.  From that vantage point, I was higher than all those mountains, but I also saw the passage that clearly ran through those mountains to the other side of all of them.  It made me know that despite the innumerable obstacles, the way was clearly laid out and adequately prepared for our journey to the other side!

Those same mountains that seemed to be obstacles are sanctuaries for many a wild creature, lots of beautiful tall growth, and even the occasional thorny cacti.  Yet, these are all pretty much hidden from our view because we cannot see the forest for the trees  - we have no idea about the passage through, or the resources at our disposal along the way.  Our psalmist reminds us that God made that mountain - it isn't there by accident.  He also made a way over it which we may not fully see until we change where it is we are viewing that mountain from!  Just sayin!