It was 6 a.m. and the sky was sprinkled with millions of stars across the still-black sky.
Before me was a mountain.
In one hour, the sun would rise and I wanted to see it from the top. I'm not going to lie, Caleb's words from Joshua 14 echoed inside my heart:
Give me this mountain!
At first it was an easy trail to walk.
However, half-way up, my throat was parched and my breathing was a little more labored. The closer I got to the top, the weaker my legs became.
But I wanted to see the sunrise...
If you have never read Hannah Hurnard's book, "Hind’s Feet on High Places" it is a beautiful story of a young girl named Much Afraid and her journey with the Great Shepherd. The story begins in the Valley of Humiliation where the Great Shepherd comes and invites Much-Afraid to the High Places. She embraces His love and begins the journey. Along the way she encounters many enemies who try to prevent her from experiencing the joy and the freedom that trusting the Shepherd brings.
I am Much-Afraid.
I believe we all are.
We want to tackle mountains. We want to make it to the top of our problems so we can see the sun in all its brightness and glory. We do not want to live in the valley where the darkness of fear, self-pity, bitterness, and shame rear their ugly heads and attempt to keep us imprisoned. No. We want the high places. It's what we were created for. But what do we do? We complain about how difficult it is to climb up, we come up with scenarios of what would happen should we fall, and we question if maybe the valley is a better, more comfortable place to be. In short, we are scared to death of mountains. Numerous times in Scripture, the hills and the mountains symbolize obstacles and problems, however at the same time, they also symbolize God's habitation and His mighty strength.
When we look at the mountains, do we see only the adversity or do we see the God who rides the winds, controls the tides, and melts mountains with His voice? Our perspective can change drastically when we look at a mountain, not as our object of defeat, but as our gateway to the very presence of God.
You may be in a valley - thoroughly humiliated - and wondering what to do or where to go. The answer is in God's Holy Word where He is calling you to lift up your eyes unto the hills. Your help is there. Psalm 121:1
You may be overwhelmed, looking at a mountain before you with a compelling desire to conquer it but with very little faith that you will. Our Father wants you to know that the strength of the hills are His. Psalm 95:4
You may be half-way up, tired and wondering if the view from the top is going to be worth the struggle. Scripture tells us that the mountains will bring peace to the people of the living God. Psalm 72:3
You may be high up, slipping on rocks, afraid of falling to your death, and trembling with exhaustion. Friend, the LORD is your strength and He is able to make your feet like the hind's feet. Habakkuk 3:19
I made it to the top and I watched as God slowly painted the dark sky shades of blue, pink, purple, red, orange, and yellow. As the sun began to rise I thought, "The day is here....it's not dark anymore." And isn't that the hope that we have as children of the Lord? One day, the darkness will be thrown into oblivion and we will live in the marvelous light of God's glory. Forever. We won't be in the valley any longer. The key is to climb, even when the Shepherd appears to be gone, even when the wind blows whispers of fear and doubt, even when your only companions seem to be sorrow and suffering.
Because when it dawns and you see what Christ has done, you won't even remember the climb.