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The Mountain

As I sat sharing with a dear friend about what God had been tenderly revealing to me he commented that it pleased him to hear it referred to as a “gift” because we often only think of the tangible in that way.  In that moment, I tucked that away, knowing that God & I would come back to it soon enough.  I share this, not to appear a “super Christian” or even mature, but if I have promised to be anything, it is authentic and all this proves is that in all this, God loves me enough to keep pruning and tending that He would receive the fruit of His work.  And I am so grateful not to be who I was and yearn still for who He’s making me to be.

Yes, the day that I gave my life to Jesus Christ was a personal mountain top experience.  It cracked my life in two like a 10.0 on the Richter Scale (that’s earthquake speak for my “not from Cali” friends) thrusting upward the first mountain in my life and I got to ride the peak as it crested.  That was 15 years ago.  Today as I look back, mountains ranges are everywhere, and so are valleys.  But the interesting thing is that they seem to lie far below.  I hadn’t noticed an elevation change, nor exerted any great effort to arrive here, but here I stand, in awe of the view because the LORD changes my perspective…

The LORD had given me a vison not too long ago of a great, high, single peaked mountain.  So high in fact that the top was shrouded in clouds that never lifted.  It seemed to me like pictures I’ve seen of the Himalayas.  I remember being at the foot of it straining back to take it all in as He told me that we would “journey together up this mountain, passing through the clouds and from that vantage point I would see thing differently.” (Oh, it grieves me that I am so slow and forgetful.  It wasn’t until this very day that I remembered what He told me and went back to reread the details from July 2015) I told Him I didn’t sense “a hike but more like floating up the face of it” and He confirmed that if I held His hand and trusted Him that is exactly what would happen, but if I clung for safety, for control, then I’d be clinging to the mountain and He’d let me crawl up it until I reached out for Him again.  Can you picture that? Oh, that is such a vivid portrait of what we do isn’t it?  He’s called us, that’s unchanging, but we want to choose how and when we are going get there. Leaving us road weary, worn out and lost.  I don’t want to be like Jonah.  I’m sorry, I’m not bashing him, I just don’t want to rebel, going only with kicks and wails, nor do I want to be left to my own effort! We will make the journey to be sure, but in letting Him have His way IN the way, it is eased.  I digress.

So, this morning, for the first time, I glanced back, provoked by a study I am doing and to my great, yet peace-filled, surprise, the view is amazing.  It’s in my minds eye even now and I could miss it if I didn’t know what He’d said to me last year and I wouldn’t have notice the perspective from whence I now see.  Standing shrouded in clouds, not even yet sensing the summit, I see clearly.  I see Him.  And He is beautiful!  Earth below has fallen away, and it’s just Jesus and me. And as if being in His holy presence is not enough, He, the giver of all good gifts, gives more…

This writing was to be about the particular gift He gave me -the revealing how His wonderful grace is founded in His gracious mercy and His tender mercy is satisfied in His amazing grace.  That was the most incredible gift I have ever received! And I want to, and must, share this precious gift with you.  But this morning He’s shown me the most spectacular thing in the penning of how it came to be, that it requires my full attention.  So follow Holy Spirit I must!  So I give myself over to this fresh revelation today and embrace it willingly, wantonly, for this is His story and today, you are welcome to join, as we abide… 

I have journeyed so very far, in this less than one-third of my life, and have not truly perceived it. This last season so agonizingly long in what appeared to be an ever descending valley.  But in truth, just as He showed me, I had in fact “floated” up the face of the great mountain and He set my feet steadfastly upon its surface and my only effort was to take His hand…  Odd this paradigm.  Had I not been in a valley?  Had my world in fact not caved away under me? Had not darkness not shrouded me, threatening to even encroach upon my very soul? Then how is it that I now find myself set securely in this high place?  Isn’t that the way of God?  His ways unbound by our logic or even the laws of the universe.

Oh, He told me I’d see differently from here, but I never imagined this. No. No human mind could conceive such things as this.  Mind bending, shattering order. This new perspective changes everything!  “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me…”  That “shadow”, that great darkness, was cast by the hand of God Himself as He held me safely in the cleft of the valley wall.  And what I had perceived as my whole world being turned upside down, was in fact truly happening.

And there, shrouded in His presence, the valleys were transposed 

Then when His hand moved away, only mountain peaks remained!

Did you hear that?!?!  Speak it aloud and listen again!

And there, shrouded in His presence, the valleys were transposed
Then when His hand moved away, only mountain peaks remained!

Oh, this truth begs my heart to praise Him!  LORD, You are good and Your mercy endures forever!  Your ways are higher than our ways!  To worship today Him not on bended knee, but at His side as His hand holds mine, beholding from this dizzying height, His vast and mighty work in my life, His great faithfulness and majestic ways revealed in each overturned valley, now a staggering mountain.  In awe, just awe.  From here the great flatlands of before, are settled far away, slipping away into the horizon and the elevations of each new mountain range spires above the one before and their breadth is ever increasing.  So much so, that it’s hard to tell where one ends and the next begins.  More likely, one surely makes way as a step, until the peaks reach awesome, fearfully wonderful, heights.   
But from here?  From here, they lay far below, seeming merely warp and weave, distant mounds, paving the way to the foothills dwarfed in the cloud enshrouded peaks of Mount Zion…
Valley peaks

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