There Be Mountains

There be mountains out there which I find lovely unless I’m flying over them in a small airplane.

Instead of embracing the spectacular birds-eye view, and trusting the person who’s flying, I squeeze my eyes shut. Cowering beneath my jacket, I hold my breath waiting till we get to the other side.

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Even now, when my husband suggests flying somewhere, I ask him, “Will there be mountains?” Living on the west coast, it’s hard to avoid them.

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I prefer flying over the Sacramento Valley where the flat land is an earthen tapestry of rice fields and almond orchards. Cattle graze on carpets of green grass, and Interstate 5 stretches for miles like a runway. If need be, we could land the plane without too many bumps.

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Given the choice, I’d rather stay in the peaceful valley, but even in life…there be mountains.

Sweet moments in life might be called a Mountain-Top Experience like the breath-taking, ethereal beauty that comes after an uphill hike when we’re standing on top of the world.

But there are also treacherous mountains where the trees don’t grow and the steep elevation seems insurmountable. Only, our circumstances leave us no choice but to go up and over. Not knowing if we’ll survive the experience of….

  • Debts
  • Disease
  • Disabilities
  • Divorce
  • Disasters
  • Death of a Dear One.

Whether the mountainous problem looming before us is 5,000 feet high or a 14,000 peak….how should we respond?

  • Cower in denial like an ostrich hiding his head in a hole?
  • Pull back into our shells like a frightened turtle?
  • Forge ahead faithfully, one step at a time?

Fear—and a lack of trust—is my first response whether I’m flying in the mountains or facing life. I wonder if I’ll ever change. However, I did something on my last flight that changed my perspective.

As we took off towards the hills, I closed my eyes to avoid looking down and listened to Christian music on my iPod. Only this time, I meditated on the Biblical Truths behind the lyrics.

  • Does Jesus love me?
  • Is His grace sufficient?
  • Will He forsake me?
  • Is God sovereign?
  • Can I trust Him?

I thought about the geography of my life: Sunny beaches and lush meadows interspersed with barren deserts, hazardous mountains, and the vally of the shadow of death.

20160902_105006The ONE constant navigator and comforter in my life is Jesus. He never disappoints.

When I embraced that truth, and everthing I know to be true about God’s character and my relationship with Him, the fear vanished. My body relaxed knowing His Spirit is present within me. I opened my eyes and beheld the wonder of His creation.

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Knowing even in this…no matter what “this issue” happens to be in my life….

“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1,2).

 

Author: Karen Foster

I'd like to say I've changed, but after decades of living, I still have the same four passions. My relationship with Jesus, spending time with family, attending live theater, and writing devotions & first-person stories about a loving, faithful God who reveals Himself in our every day circumstances.

11 thoughts on “There Be Mountains”

  1. Karen, this is beautiful! Thank you for sharing! I loved your example of the ostrich. I have often described my dealings with the hardships of life in that way – that I am like an ostrich who sticks her head in the sand and pretends there is no danger…just ignore it and it will go away. Only, that never, ever works. I am so thankful God is walking me through learning how to lean totally on Him and no one and nothing else to give me peace and strength!

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    1. Cindy, I understand the ostrich mentality on so many levels. Not just my own fears, but the concerns I have (and how I do/don’t respond) for a loved one’s health or poor choices. Recently, I asked a friend what she learned after her husband’s death. It happened many years ago, leaving her a widow with three young kids. One thing she learned, “To do the hard thing and not put it off. I had to step up and deal with the car repairs and be the single parent.Go to work whether I liked it or not. No one was going to step in for me.The problems weren’t going away.”
      Cindy, I think there’s a lesson here for the ostrich types. Ignoring problems…health,money,marriage…rarely disappear without some effort on our part. So we rely on the Lord and forge ahead knowing we’re not alone. This week’s TW lesson on Gideon is a great example. I hope you know, I’m praying for you in this latest journey!!!

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  2. I know you posted this days ago but I couldn’t have read it at a better time!
    The pictures you captured were breathtaking (I long to see something so peaceful) but the words are so beautiful! Fear is very real but it’s how we apply the word to overcome that fear and sometimes we get so caught up in things (because of course we’re human) but simply remembering His word even for the smallest of the smallest things can bring comfort in a time of panic! Thank you Karen for the reminder!

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    1. Thanks for sharing. I know you speak from experience! Sometimes we reserve seeking God and His Word when we feel out of control and facing mountainous problems. However, I love how you said, “remembering His Word even for the smallest of the smallest things can bring comfort.”

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  3. I feel your fear of those mountains! I’m so glad you shared the pics because those are really intimidating piles of rock! Once again, you painted a picture I could so relate to. God is in control, no matter my circumstances, no matter my surrounding. Looking forward to catching up next week 🙂

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    1. Cathy, I often joke about my fear of flying, but my hands truly shook just trying to turn on my iPod. So that fact that His peace carried me spokes volumes to me about life in general.Life comes with all kinds of terrains. Best to know how to cope, right?

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