Look At That Mountain!

I stand before a mountain. It’s tall. It’s humungous. It’s impossible. “Move, mountain,” I command. But I cannot simply expect the mountain to move. And I do not hold the power to simply pick it up and move it. I must trust that the Maker of the mountain will do something great despite the incredible mountain that stands before me.

Some of us stand before the same impossible mountain for the rest of our lives. We wonder if God will ever move it. We question how God is using it for His glory. And others are asked to climb.

When a situation comes into our lives and there’s nothing we can do, we can only trust the Maker. But that’s why the mountains come—to give us no other option but fully rely on God as we stand at the base of the mountain. It gives Him great pleasure when we fully surrender.

As you prepare to fix a roof, you set a ladder on the ground. You look up. The roof looks so far away. It actually looks small. As you climb each rung, the roof becomes bigger. But it has not changed sizes, only your perspective has.

Life is like a ladder, with God at the top. When you’re at the bottom, God looks so small. Climbing uphill requires so much effort, but with each rung God gets bigger and bigger. Just as the roof has not changed sizes as you approached the top, neither has God. But as you climb further up the ladder, You see more of Him: His goodness, His faithfulness, His holiness, His love, His power. The more precious He seems. The more amazing He is. He has always been amazing, but you didn’t see it at the bottom rung. Keep climbing the ladder of life and you’ll realize just how big God is.

Don’t pray away the mountain or try to move it. Simply give Him your mountain. Expect big things from God, because He is big. Expect amazing from God, because He is amazing.

We cannot look at the mountain as an ugly obstacle, even though the limitations and frustrations are in clear view. Instead, we must choose to see the mountain as beautiful, giving us a front row seat to God’s goodness and faithfulness and love. God’s going to move in ways which are bigger than the mountain, in ways which are bigger than us and in ways we can’t even imagine. Sometimes the biggest blessings come while we wait for His plan and purpose.

Are you preoccupied with the immensity and disruptiveness of your impossible mountain? Look up, climb life’s ladder and realize God is bigger than the mountain. After all, He made the mountain. He has the power to move it or use it in your life. And so, you have the power to reject or accept this intrusive mountain.

There is no greater variance in landscape than what’s found on a mountain—where the trees grow almost sideways. There is ruggedness and rawness. And as you reach its snowy peak, your whole perspective changes. Your view encompasses all directions from the top. You can see the difficult path you’ve climbed and those around you who’ve reached the top of a similar mountain. There’s a stronger relationship and a greater appreciation for the Maker of the mountain.

It’s about balancing the reality of the impossible mountain with hope in Jesus Christ. Valid concern with the truth from God’s Word. Harmonizing our difficulties and struggles with God’s sovereignty, purpose and unchanging love. It’s not all about the mountain or how big it is; it’s about seeing who God is compared to the mountain. It’s about seeing that God is working despite the impossibilities. It’s about countering our instinct to worry with God’s care and sovereignty. It’s giving our heart’s concerns to God unfiltered and allowing Him to comfort and change us. It’s seeing that God isn’t being unfair or cruel but He’s showcasing His glory, power and love through the impossible mountains.

But God…

No one wants to hear the word progressive. It has the ability to immediately steal our happiness and rob our abilities and time.

It’s so hard not to let our minds run on ahead and report back to us with a very grim outlook. Our minds are very good at it. In fact, they actually love the task of conclusion. What ifs cloud our minds and taint our perspective. Facing reality is necessary but forming an assumption before the day comes is damaging. You see, reality is today, but future is always tomorrow.

Matthew 6:34
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Don’t fret over what you might not be able to do tomorrow, but focus on what you can do today. Appreciate the time spent and the relationships you can build and the activities in which you can participate. None of us know when it will no longer be possible.

(It’s better to visualize the future when it’s in the presence of our Lord.)

“But God…do You see the troubles I’m having? Do You see what I’m struggling to do? Do You see my pain? How will I manage a household? How will I care for myself and others?”

And He answers, “But Child… You’re worrying about a future you’re not in yet. You’re running on ahead without Me. I see the future and it is still good.”

God is Throwing Stones at Me

There is only one path in this life. It’s the one which leads to Christ. He is our motivation. He is the purpose for our existence. But it takes little for us to get sidetracked.

We’re walking easy one day—following Christ—when all the sudden a tree falls in our path. It knocks the wind out of us. We get stuck—only seeing the difficulty before us—when we should look up. It might be difficult finding our way through the debris of the fallen tree, but God is still there. And the same path is before us.

Perhaps your fallen tree is pretty huge. The doctor predicts your death. Your boss eliminates your position. Your spouse files for divorce. Your child is rebelling. You’re grieving over a loved one. The bills keep piling up.

We cannot lose sight of Christ and His faithfulness, even when the circumstances don’t make sense.

Psalm 26:3
For Your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in Your faithfulness.

KLOVE shared a story by Pastor Francis Anfuso:
A little boy was playing with his toy sailboat on the shore of a quiet lake. When the wind pulled the sailboat away from the shoreline, he began to cry as it went farther and farther away. An older boy came upon the scene and began throwing stones at his tiny boat. The young boy cried, “Why are you throwing stones at my boat?” The older boy said, “I’m throwing stones on the far side of your boat to create some waves to bring the sailboat back to you. Trust me; I know what I’m doing.” Whenever you feel like God is throwing stones at your life, realize they are meant to draw you closer to Him, not to drive you away. He says to all of us, “Trust Me; I know what I’m doing!”

Sometimes we question if God really loves us. “But God, have You seen the big stones??” But all things are for His purpose, even if we feel like we’re continually dodging big stones.

No one wants to walk a terrifying path, but we don’t have to be afraid. The hardships are not to drive us away from our Father, but to draw us closer. They’re to remind us that He’s bigger than it all and His purpose is bigger than ours. If we lean into the very arms of Jesus, amidst the tragedy or hardship, we can find peace. Why? Because His arms is where we’re meant to be. He is our everything.

There is blessing if we simply lean on Him.

I am a Servant

It’s human nature to question God’s will, especially when it seems to oppose our own or happen not as we expected. Why did you take my job? Why is my life so difficult? Why did you take my loved one? Why is my marriage so difficult? Why do I have to deal with this hater at my school? Why can’t I have a family? Why does my child struggle so? Why can’t I find a spouse?

Mary was a virgin, betrothed to Joseph. God sent His angel Gabriel to tell Mary, “You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus.”  She had everything to lose in obeying God’s will: her reputation, her marriage, her family, her wants and hopes.

Yet, her response was not, “Eh…I don’t know, God. It’s going to look like I cheated on Joseph. And I’m not sure I can raise the Son of God.” No. Instead, Continue reading “I am a Servant”

The Perfect Gift

I cannot wait to give our boys their presents on Christmas morning! To see the huge smiles on their faces as they rip open the paper and get a first peek. As parents, it gives us great pleasure to bless our children with gifts. The love and joy we experience as humans is pretty grand, but imagine how our Heavenly Father must feel to bless us with good gifts from above? The unexplainable delight as He showers us with His blessings.

Have you ever given a gift only to see the person look unaffected upon receiving it? Has someone ever told you they didn’t like your gift? How hurtful and disappointing. Maybe their gift was an afterthought, quickly found on the shelf as you exited a store, or perhaps you thought it was the perfect gift – carefully wrapped with appreciation and tied with a bow of love.

As much as we’d like to brag about our ability to give perfect gifts, there is none like the one God gave. His was the Perfect Gift. It was the greatest ever given. His might not be the latest iPhone or a smart TV. It’s not a sleek Ferrari or a mansion on a hilltop. It’s not even our deepest desire. Continue reading “The Perfect Gift”

Here’s a Glimpse…

My original answer was “No way!”—but he really wanted to go along.

Our church family was Christmas caroling around a few of the neighboring houses and then meeting again for some cookies and hot chocolate. My son did okay while caroling. He wandered a little and pushed his brother a few times. He liked to ring the doorbells, but soon began pushing the buttons before the rest of us were up the sidewalk. One house, I had to run after him because he continued walking up the sidewalk of a house we were going to skip. All in all, he did okay for a kid who isn’t typical.

But then it was time to eat cookies – aka little blobs of sugar.

As soon as the sugar hit the blood stream, it was as if someone flipped a switch on my son. Even I was surprised. He quickly ascended the hyper-coaster and it was going to get ugly. Continue reading “Here’s a Glimpse…”