Every year, I make an annual trek to the top of a mountain. I spend about three days in spiritual renewal. It has become somewhat of a sacred time for me. There is nothing particularly sacred about the cabin where I stay, although God’s creation shouts His creativity with gold and red leaves, breathtaking views of mountains and fall air that snaps in the early morning. There is nothing particularly sacred about the motley crew that joins me. A group of women fumbling ,at best, to walk this God-path with me.
I’ve learned that there is value in “Coming up the mountain” with God. A quiet place where He helps me take a good long look at where I am, where I want to be, and more importantly, where He wants to take me.
This year was different. On Saturday morning, with coffee cup in hand, I sat for a long time and was still, asking Him to speak into my spirit. He softly kissed my face with the morning sun and said, “Come up with me. Come up higher. The view is great from here.”
I opened my eyes to scan the horizon and indeed it was beautiful. The wind was causing the mountainside to come alive as a wave of gold and red shimmered in the morning sun. “The view is great Lord, I’m so glad I am here with You.”
“No Child, I want you up higher than where you are now. You are too accustomed to the place you are now and I’ve got some sights that will make you drop your mouth. Come on up higher.”
I think on this for a minute and answer back, “Lord I’ll go if you show me the path.”
“Child, put your shoes on and come this way. It’s steep, it winds and you are going to need to let me show you the path by holding your hand the whole way. You won’t believe how clear the colors of my glory are from up here. The sky is a brilliant blue and all my promises are yes and amen from this spot.”
I contemplate what He is suggesting. I’ve let Him lead me and it has resulted in skinned knees and some near misses over cliffs. I’ve lost some things along the way that I had thought were essential. I’m not sure if I can travel much lighter than I am now. When He speaks like this to me I already feel nearly exposed
“Ok Lord, what is it that I need to leave here on the porch before we climb up?”, hoping beyond hope it’s not the still warm mug of coffee in my grasp. In love He whispers for me to look in my other hand. I see a clenched fist that belongs to me. Under my fingers are crinkled up shiny treasures of pride, bitterness and anger. Self importance hangs down like a strand of dollar store beads around my wrist and cheap ugly rings of plastic materialism sit on the base of each finger. My treasures. I love them. But I think about what He has offered, and I know there has to be something more than dime store treasures. So I carefully lay them down. At first my hands feel empty and cold. I’ve held these treasures for a while now and it seems strange, foreign to hand them over, but soon a rush of warmth invades me and my hands are wrapped up in the warmth of the Father. I’m ready to climb.
“I’m a little scared God. What if it’s so steep I fall? I know what it feel like to land in a pit and what if I don’t hold tight enough?”
And God smiles. He hushes my fears with the sound of women praising. They are the HOST that announce his coming. They are singing and shouting and praising. And I am silenced by it all.
With a small shove, their testimony to His goodness sends me forward. He takes my hand. We are ready to climb to a new level. Somewhere in the distance Satan, is planning an attack, but God pulls me up close to his side and to the tune of women declaring His goodness, His faithfulness and His love we start out on a climb to a new height. The climb will take us down this mountain and back to my home, my family and my life or so it would seem. But I smile up at Him, and He down at me. What appears to be a descent is actually a climb up to a new level. He’s promised me a new vision, and He’s never let me down before.