Moved By The Mountain

Five hundred twenty-two days.  Or, 1 year, 5 months, and 5 days.  This was the length of the most recent – and perhaps the most challenging – trial I have faced in my nearly 40 years of life.  It’s still not 100% officially behind me, but God willing, I believe it may be over.  I would like to believe that I am not the same person I was before it.  I believe that I have gained a new perspective on life, on faith, on patience, and perseverance.

I have never literally climbed a mountain, but it isn’t too hard to imagine some aspects of what it must be like.  Obviously, by the time you’ve made it all the way to the summit and back down again, you are both physically and mentally exhausted.  That I can relate to.  I imagine you also learn a lot along the way – new, more effective ways to analyze, interpret, and overcome the challenges laid out before you.  Also, although your muscles would surely ache for days and days, in truth, you would come down that mountain physically stronger than you were at the start of your ascent.  I envision an intriguing juxtaposition of humility – given the scale, power, and majesty of nature compared to just one person – and new-found confidence – given the fact that you have just conquered said power and majesty.

It has, in all, been a very humbling experience for me.  My successes and victories have come not by my own strength, as they might when climbing a mountain, but solely by grace, mercy, and unmerited favor from above.  I have come out on top in spite of myself, evaluated not on the merits of my decisions or actions, but by the generally pure intentions and motivations of my heart.  Of course I desire success and everything that comes with it – respect, admiration, financial freedom – but my desire to honor God, and to display the fruit of the Spirit in my life, has become more important to me.  The challenges of my mountain have shown me what is really important in life.

At my lowest point, I clung to the fact that no matter what the outcome – and there were potentially dire, life-changing consequences – nothing could change the love of my family or my Lord.  I learned to rest in that.

Looking at the picture above, which is one of my favorites, the only thing I can’t directly relate to is this:  That man, having climbed to the highest peak of that mountain, must truly feel a huge sense of accomplishment.  While I do feel some of that, what I feel is much, much more a sense of gratitude.  For the path that led me up and over this mountain – the steps that led me around the falling rocks on my ascent – the hand that would not provide a foothold for my oppressors – none of it was of my doing.  Every door that opened, and every hand that reached down to help me up and over the next ledge, was the hand of God.

The mountains in your life will change you, if you let them.  And if you accept the physical concept of heaven being “up” toward the sky, then they will both literally and spiritually do what every soul truly desires deep down inside – they will bring you closer to your Creator.

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~ by suitenectar on April 26, 2012.

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