Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” — Isaiah 2:3
Have you ever thought about the way a mountain can reflect our lifetime experiences? Our journey usually begins with education, which could be compared to the climb up a mountain. We base our current studies on what we learned before, just as our current location on the trail was achieved by starting at the base and walking up and up. We have a goal in education, a degree or a body of knowledge, just as we want to reach the top of the mountain. The same may be true in a career where we start out in an entry-level position and build on it.
Trails in the mountains often climb to a ridge and then descend a bit before ascending again. Similarly, life is made up of high points and sometimes coming back down to the valley. There may be times of great difficulty, even failure, and other days when we can rest by a quiet stream in the shade of a tree.
We can take heart from the fact that the Lord is with us on this journey. Hebrews 13:5-6 reminds us,
God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.’
Psalm 3:4 says,
I call out to the Lord, and He answers me from His holy mountain.
We can respond with Psalm 99:9:
Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at His holy mountain; for the Lord our God is holy! (ESV)
O Lord, sometimes life does feel like a mountain, much too big for me to summit! Thank You that You provide rest along the way and invite me to drink from Your pure streams.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. — James 1:17
Sometimes on a clear day, just before the sun rises, snowy mountain peaks are bathed in soft glowing tones of pink, purple, or gold. This phenomenon (which can also happen in the evening just after sunset) is called alpenglow. The slopes light up like beacons of the coming day while the observer still stands in the cold predawn shade.
Have you ever seen signs of God’s grace glowing in the distance while your own circumstances were shrouded in gloom? In this world, the shadows do shift, often falling across our lives, bringing darkness and cold. During difficult seasons, it can seem like the Lord is very far away from us. Although we’ve been told that He is with us even in the darkest valley, we can’t always sense His presence. But sometimes, before we feel the warmth of God’s healing on our own faces and shoulders, in our own hearts and minds, we can see it in someone else’s situation. The glory of God’s grace nearby is a harbinger that He will shine His face on us as well. We are promised in 1 John 3:2 that
we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
And it says in 1 Corinthians 13 that we shall know Him fully, even as we are fully known (1 Corinthians 13:12). So even when we don’t feel His love and grace, we know that in time, we will become fully aware of those gifts He is pouring out over us. And that is a hope brighter than any sunrise alpenglow.
O Lord, thank You that You have promised to be with me, no matter how dark my road is — even in the valley of the shadow of death! Draw my attention to those signs of Your glory and Your approach. I rejoice in the light You bring to each new day and the good gifts You give me.
Excerpted with permission from Devotions from the Mountains by Lisa Ham, copyright Thomas Nelson.
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No matter what the journey, even when the climbing gets beyond our abilities, the Lord will never leave us, never forsake us. Look up. See if there’s a glow on the mountains even if you’re still standing in darkness. God is with you! Come and share your thoughts with us on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily