In 1967 a Youth Team came to Miami, Florida to hold a revival at my home church. When the team left to return home, one of the members, Steve Playl, stayed behind and traveled with my family to Ridgecrest, North Carolina. As we journeyed up and down the mountains, being awed by the majesty and the beauty, Steve would call out, “I want one.” Huh? What? “What do you want Steve?”, my parents would ask. “I want a mountain, I want one.” Thinking on that many times throughout my adult years I use his phrase to describe lessons from the mountains that I am learning and truly want to cling to in my life. These lessons lead me to cry out, “I want one, I want that mountain.”
Lessons From the Mountains
All these years later, that phrase continues to be used when my husband and I travel. We’ll round a curve and see a beautiful mountain, waterfall, tree, sunset, or landscape; ooh and ahh, and then finally one of us will say the words that describe the emotion we are experiencing, “I want one.”
Mountains paint for us many interesting pictures, and help us to express many different emotions and thoughts. We “make mountains out of mole hills”, discover we have a “mountain of paperwork”, get on the edge of a “slippery slope,” or get old and are referred to as “over the hill.” Mountains beg for a closer look; a look of discovery.
Here are five lessons I am learning from the mountains
- Faith – “…If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove and nothing shall be impossible unto you”(Matthew 17:20).
- Joy – “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth with singing and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12).
- Praise – Psalm 148 has a long list of things in nature being commanded to praise the Lord. The sun, moon, stars, light, heavens, waters, earth, dragons, fire, hail, and snow are but a few. The list includes, “Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars…let them praise the name of the Lord; for His name alone is excellent: his glory is above the earth and heaven.”
- Security – “God is our refuge, therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea: though the waters be troubled, the mountains shake with the swelling”(Psalm 46:2-3).
- Confidence and Courage – When Caleb had been sent out to spy the land where Moses was to lead the people, he returned with a message that the land was all that God had promised. Because of the report of the others in the party, the people opted to not go forward. It is said of Caleb in Joshua 14:6-12, that he “wholly followed the Lord” and he says of himself “though I am now 85 years old I am as strong as when I was 40…Now therefore give me this mountain that the Lord has promised…”.
Sometimes I Have A Mountain To Conquer
When my oldest grandson became a teenager, my husband took him on a mission trip to Wyoming. While there they went out into the mountains and Brandon climbed atop a mound of boulders at the foot of a mountain. Having reached a certain level that felt like accomplishment for him, he raised his arms in victory. He had “conquered the mountain.”
Looking upward from the base of a mountain I often feel overwhelmed, dwarfed in comparison, viewing it as an insurmountable obstacle needing to be conquered. Remembering the lessons I can learn from that mountain, I discover I am refreshed and renewed.
- Doubt becomes Faith
- Sadness turns to Joy
- Grumbling changes to Praise
- Fear transforms into Security
- Timidity is swallowed by Confidence.
As I recently stood at the edge of an overlook in Black Mountain, North Carolina, emotions and memories coursed through my heart and mind in rapid fire succession. First the beauty assailed my senses with praise. Then the praise turned to sheer unbridled joy bubbling from deep within my soul. I stood transfixed on the edge of this exhibit of nature set in place from the foundation of the world by God when He spoke it into existence. Songs of hope, faith, and confidence began to flow from my lips as I was wrapped in the serene quietness and holiness of this beauty. I had such total confidence in those moments that I was in the presence of a Holy God, Creator, Father, and Friend that my security was rightfully placed in Him, and in Him alone.
I have some mountains in my life that I need to conquer…and I have a few that I just need to climb and enjoy. As I scale the heights I want to raise my arms heavenward in victory and shout for all to hear. I want to be like my grandson and feel the thrill of accomplishment. Yes, I want that mountain. Yes, I want one!
Do you have a mountain to conquer? Already conquered one? What are some truths you have discovered in the mountains?