(Originally posted on our former blog site on 2/25/2014)
We live in a magical land of disappearing mountains… I wish I was kidding.
We are fifteen minutes, at most, from the bottom of the Sequoia’s and on a good day I can see them from my front yard; giant, glorious, snow-capped mountains. And then there are the other 6 days of the week that I step outside and all I can see is the sky. And by “sky” all I mean is the color greyish blue. Which is far less exciting.
I have to say unless you are from the Central Valley this concept is a bit foreign and irrational. The only way a phenomenon like this could take place is well… in a Disney movie. Mountains don’t just disappear. They can’t be here one day and not the next. They are mountains for goodness’ sake.
So that brings me to this, two things of which I am certain of…
I haven’t moved. I am in the same city, in the same house, with the same front yard.
And, the mountains haven’t moved. They didn’t wake up one day and decide to reside on some other plain until God Himself decides they should relocate, so come Hell or Noah-high water, they are there.
These two factors are not up for debate. They are constant, unchangeable. Therefore the only possible thing standing in the way of my beautiful mountain-view, is the sky. And in this case specifically, the smog in the sky.
Te smog is a tricky thing because it blends in with its’ surroundings. You wouldn’t even know that it was there except for the fact that it alters the appearance of things once familiar to me causing me to try my best to explain to visitors that although it may not look like it now, there are in fact mountains in our skyline. And when I see their eyes roll a little- or their courtesy head nod- I say more boldly, “no, I promise, they are there! It may not look like it today, or maybe even tomorrow, but they are there!”
Have you ever failed in trying to convince someone of something that you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt to be true?
Or… have you yourself ever walked away from something that used to be “so clear” but has become murky and confusing?
If so, I hope you can find peace in my mountains.
I have been through seasons of life where I felt like God was more tangible than anything I have ever known, but I have also been through seasons when I have felt like I was completely and utterly on my own. On the top of the mountain one day only to find myself in search of any mountain at all the next. And in those moments I ask myself one question.
Was it me? This question can only be answered with one of two words- yes or no… So which is it? Are you feeling confused, uncertain, uneasy? Have you walked away from friends, mentors, church, or even God? Have you moved, changed, or done something to create space between when you had peace and now? If the answer is you, if you have moved in any way, then it is time to get yourself back in right standing with God. But if it isn't you, take a deep breath. there is another very real explanation.
If you know that you know that you know, that you are exactly where you should be- then let me tell you something my friend. Something that may seem confusing and absurd at first. Something that may even be irrational… God hasn’t moved. It may seem like it. You may stick your head out of the window of life and be visually assured of what you believe in your heart is already true- but it’s not.
He is there. He is for you. And He thinks the world of you.
It is something else entirely that has blocked you from seeing Him.
Exodus 14:14 says “The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” This verse has brought me more comfort in the last few months more than any other... I shall hold my peace. The word they use in the Hebrew is “charash”- which literally means to be silent or keep quiet. It is a verb, a deliberate action of controlling yourself from speaking and thus “holding” onto peace. When I start to feel confused or uncertain of things I remind myself of this verse. I remind myself to just stop… to trust God… to hold my tongue… and to grip down on the unchangeable truths found in the Word.
So be it smog, storm, cloud, or flood- offense, insecurity, jealousy, or whatever else may be getting in the way of my beautiful peaceful view- I will plant myself on the solid rock of Jesus Christ until it passes by. I will be immovable. Unshakable. Certain of what my eyes temporarily cannot see. I will HOLD my peace until everything clears up again. And my prayer for you, is that you will too.
Matthew 28:20 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”