IT TOOK A MOUNTAIN
by Charles Robey
(Trussville. AL USA)
I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip— He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you— the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm— He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore." (Psalm 121)
Our trip had been planned for months. The Dean of Archeology had given his blessings. The mountain climbing gear was packed and our explorer crew was all ready to travel. All we needed was a good night's rest as part of our preparation, and away we would go, bright and early at first light.
I must have fallen asleep early, just to be sure to be rested and prepared for the long mountainous journey. The next thing I realized was that I was climbing up a rugged, mountainous terrain.
As I was into my climb, I heard a rustling in the undergrowth. My first thought was some kind of varmint, or maybe a large snake. Before I could follow up on my gut feeling, I observed the outline of a man in the shadows. As I moved closer, a man's likeness appeared.
Strange as it may seem, none of the others in our expedition were able to see this character. I guess that was why my fellow climbers thought I was talking to myself.
Nonetheless, nothing was unusual about his mountain climber's gear. However, what was strange was his abnormal dialog. You see, he spoke in a very precise, fluent Hebrew dialect. Luckily, I had knowledge of the Hebrew language.
As he spoke, I was able to gather that he wanted to join in with my mountain excursion. I had no problem with this.
"The more the merrier," I responded. So along we went this character and all the rest of us.
Our climbing adventure lasted many days and nights, through countless rough and tough trails, and over scores of stark, jagged ridges. Finally we reached the mountain summit.
After several days of low cloud covering and intermittent fog, the air finally cleared. Looking out, I couldn't help but wonder just how high up we were.
Taking me by the hand, my Buddy and I moved over to a clear spot in the landscape.
"Wow, what a view!" I exclaimed. "I can see forever. Bet I can see half the world up here. Is this what heaven is really like?" And the more I looked the more excited I became.
At that moment this nice man, who had been virtually silent, answered my enthusiastic question.
"You see, my son, being on top of the world is great. But you can't stay here forever. At some point you must move down to the valley. You must face the bleak realization of life," he said.
"But why can't this old world of ours be just like this calm, serene valley appears to be?" I asked.
"Well my son, in the natural realm, we have a progression of ups and downs, much like an imaginary mountain to valley landscape. We will have our rough times and our calm and peaceful times," he answered. "However, even in the lowest valleys of our lives, we can still dwell on God's mountaintop, by leaving life's valley and dwelling in the glory of God's mountaintop.
"How, might this come about?" I asked.
"By climbing up life's obstacle mountainsides and entering into God's tabernacle by daily prayer and worship, just dwelling with Him, day by day, he answered.
"Do you remember the occasion of the Mount of Transfiguration and the disciples' experience? The actual encounter they had in the presence of God and His Son was just on an ordinary mountaintop. It was being in the glory of their Lord that made all the difference."
"And do you remember In (Matthew 17:4) what Peter actually said to Jesus? 'Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters —one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.'"
"You too may have had this same glorified experience, as did Peter. It happened with the first church in Jerusalem (Acts 2:2-4), and it can happen to you as well."
"OK, I get it now. So, it took a mountain. Let's go. I'm ready to climb back down and tackle life's valley," I responded.
However, this nice stranger failed to answer. He was nowhere in sight. Neither was the scenery of the mountains and the valleys. It had all instantly disappeared.
Moreover, I found myself sitting up in my bed, still half lost in my dream world, musing over my dream,. Somehow, I just couldn't shake it off. The gist of this dream had brought back memories of my life. Memories that I had long since hoped to forget. If I could only get peace from my past actions.
Suddenly, a calm stillness miraculously seemed to surround my bed. As I looked around the room, my eyes astonishingly fell on my bedside table. Lying on the table was an old moth-eaten Bible.
It was all I could do to keep it together as I turned the pages. Moreover, as if by divine design, I was able to make out a partial portion of scripture.
“For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” Says the Lord Who has compassion on you.” (Isaiah 54:10)
Wow, what a marvelous ending to this dream experience. I must share it with my pastor. "Pastor, pastor, are you there? Please pick up the phone."
"Hi gang, sorry I'm late. I seemed to have over-slept. I'm ready to tackle those mountains. And this time, I will make it all the way it to the top of old "Killer's Gulch." May we just have a word of prayer before we depart?"
Have you ever had a mountaintop experience with God? It brings a flow of joy and peace that eclipses any other human experience. A mountaintop experience is “a temporary, uncommon encounter with God that is meant to give us a fresh awareness of His reality and nearness, and of His glory.”
I can still recall our family's many vacation mountain trips. Holding my two young girls imprisoned in the back seat of our old VW beetle was a sight to behold. You may remember these good old days, of having such vehicles with no air conditioning, nor a heater.
The one mountain vacation trip that sticks out in my mind was the trip to Mt. Mitchell, the highest mountain in the Eastern US. When we got to the summit, it had been raining. The entire landscape was wet from low cloud coverage or dew. And not being used to thin air, just a few steps seemed to take our breath away. But it was fun, at least for us grown-ups.
One of my joyful mountain events was the fact that being up in the mountains, I could reach out for miles on my car CB radio. I seem to be able to talk around the world. Looking back now, I can see why my family became so irate, as I would stop the car and talk for long periods of time.
Oh well, enough reminiscing. I trust you liked this little fiction dream world blog, and that you got the reality of the true gospel message.