LIVING ON THE MOUNTAIN
by Charles Robey
God's Mountains. ( Isa 49:11)
"Let the mountains bring peace to the people, And the hills in righteousness" (Psalms 72:3)
Several years ago, while vacationing in the Smoky Mountains, we visited Grandfathers Mountain. I will never forget the experience of walking across that old swinging bridge and looking down at the valley below. Suddenly, while still on the bridge, someone called out that the bridge was about to fall. Boy, did I get off in a hurry.
The Christian life is much like those large majestic mountains and lonely valleys. For you see, for every mountain there must be a valley. And, for every mountain top Christian experience, we will certainly experience the valley experiences, as well.
But as the old song says;
Life is easy when you're up on the mountain
And you've got peace of mind like you've never known.
But then things change and you're down in the valley.
Don't lose faith for you're never alone.
For the God on the mountain is still God in the valley.
When things go wrong, He'll make it right.
And the God of the good times is still God in the bad times.
The God of the day is still God in the night.
Any great mountaintop experience with God can lead to some understandable valley disappointments, once we come down from the mountain. However, none of us were meant to live forever on the mountaintop. Its how we Christians handle the valley experiences that is important for our spiritual growth.
I can't help thinking about the old patriotic Moses. Each time he received his marching orders, he would climb the mountain to speak face to face with God. He would come down out of the mountain, face shinning as being with God, only to face the grumbling Israelites. Then slowly his complexion would change, as he reached the valley and saw what was going on with his people. To hide this, he covered his face with a veil. (Deuteronomy 34:29-34)
It seems normal, as a Christian, to want to be on the mountaintop with our Lord. However, the Apostle Paul says that we are not like Moses. We get more than the Old Testament Saints isolated mountaintop experiences. We get the eternal "full gospel". ( I Corinthians 15)
You see, not like Moses, our glory should never fade. (2 Corinthians 3:13-18).
It was once said of a visiting Irishman, upon seeing the mountains of the great state of West Virginia, that he wrote back home and exclaimed, "you must come to America, God gave them so much land that He had to pile it up in hunks".
As the mountains seem sometimes to touch the sky, so is God's love towards us. This alone serves to remind us how small we are in the sight of God. And, at the same time it gives us an incentive to climb toward new heights in our Christian experience.
"I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains: From whence shall my help come"?(Psalm 121:1)
Well, have you ever had a mountaintop experience? You know, one that you will never forget. I've had a few. I remember the time I made the winning basket, at my High School tournament. The time my father gave me those "overalls" with a pocket for all my treasures. Or, the time my wife, girl friend then, introduced me to her family at the family pick- nick.
Most importantly, I have been in fantastic worship events, in which I felt the cool air of heaven and have seen the amazing love of our Heavenly Father. Yes, these were surely the hills and peaks of a great mountaintop experience.
However, I have also visited, of what I felt at the time, to be the shadow of the valley of death. Only to realize that the love of God covers all our fears.
"Fear not for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name you are mine.".( Isaiah 43:1)
The thing to remember about mountains is that although once you climb them, and after you have taken in the majestic view, you have to come back down again into the valley. However, always remember, the God of the mountains is always the God of the valleys, as well.
"Be strong and brave. Don't be afraid... and don't be frightened, because the Lord your God will go with you. He will not leave you or forget you". (Deuteronomy 31: 6)