We are so lucky to be guarded by mountains of might in every direction here in Anchorage. I have always called the ones out my East Anchorage windows “mine” as if they belonged to me. The truth is, I have climbed only a few– but this sunny week, my husband and I hiked a new-to-us trail, and I feel like the claim “mine” is a little more true.
It’s fascinating to me how the view of a mountain is so different than from a mountain. Especially on new trails, the trail seems to grow longer and higher as I hike onward towards that ever-elusive summit. With each wind, turn, and new landing, I have to get my bearings again, reorienting myself. What do I see? How far to the top? Catch my breath. Convince myself not to turn my long-hibernated-winter lungs and body around before reaching the goal.
I cannot be out in God’s grand creation without thinking about how He sees things. He is the Mountain Maker and Mover, after all. He sees the mountain from every angle, and all the rest of the beautiful landscapes He has created. His perspective sees the whole picture.
Life is full of trails and turns, mountains to overcome and valleys to endure. In the last year, I have enjoyed a season of “normal” after some rough and dark years. Just recently though, a few issues and circumstances have popped into my life that have caused me some anxiety I haven’t felt in a while. While worrying over some of these new issues, I came to a passage which encouraged me to reflect on God’s faithfulness.
In Psalm 31, David’s cries to the Lord are up, down, and all around. He repeatedly states his trust in the Lord, but repeats frantic cries for salvation as if he is doubtful in his distress.
At one point, he says:
I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul, and you have not delivered me into the hand of my enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place (Psalm 31:7-8).
As expressed in this Psalm, God has seen me in my deepest despair. He has known my greatest distress, and not once has He delivered me over to my sorrows. For now, my feet are planted in a broad place, but I know that one day again, they will slip and falter along narrow, gravelly mountain paths that seem, at best, difficult, and at worst, unconquerable; however, even then, I can remember His faithfulness.
Perhaps before you lies a mountain– it could be a new and welcome adventure or a formidable obstacle or trial. Perhaps you will climb to the tippy-top, raise your hands in exultation, and rejoice. Perhaps you will grow weary and defeated and turn around out of energy, only to return to the battle tomorrow, or weeks or months or years later, ready to fight again. Perhaps you will be breathing hard and sweating in the sun, or maybe you’ve trained well for the journey ahead, and you walk forward in eager, quick steps.
Perhaps the top of your mountain yields a change in perspective, a better view of your circumstance, or a sight of even higher heights. Perhaps you will see a valley below. Maybe you will experience the blazing glory of God, like Moses or Elijah, or maybe you will hear Him in a whisper. Maybe you will wonder why you ever climbed so far and so high. Life doesn’t always make sense, even when we look back.
Our mountains all have different names. Right now, my own mountain is named, “Trust again.” Whatever journey you find yourself on, you can trust the Mountain Maker. He’s got the whole picture. He sees you. In fact, He’s wandered His own wilderness way and climbed His own mountain to pray. He knows the trail of humanity well, and He is indeed our own Rock of Salvation who cannot be moved. We can continue to move along, trusting in His steadfast love, even when we are weary, worried, confused, or rejoicing, looking back at the trails He’s sustained us through, pushing forward to those yet to come.
Press on and press into Him.