Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Mountain Climbing - In Israel and in Life
Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. Psalms 57:1
In Psalm 57 we see David is distressed and needs to be rescued from the enemy. He is desperate for God's mercy as he climbs a Judean mountain looking for a cave to hide in from his adversary. As he ascends the rugged trails up the mountain path his heart cries out to the Lord for help.
Have you ever felt that way where you needed God’s mercy in a desperate way? Suddenly you were facing A “Mountain climb for your life” that was not of your choosing and if God doesn’t intervene beyond the “natural” you have no way to make it to the top and almost certainly will fall to your death? This is why Fanny Crosby Hymn is so precious to many.
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life with the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand.
It seems like I have gone through several of those climbs in recent years. As I reflect back I realize that is all part of the sanctification process. The Lord is teaching me through these climbing experiences not to look at how high the mountain is or how rugged the trail is to the top. All we really know is that it is too big a climb for us to make. Everyone loves the view from the top of a mountain but few actually “want” to make the climb. If you focus upon the mountain and think about the treacherous trail you are on and the many dangers of such a climb, fear will set in and faith will flee. But if by FAITH you will take your eyes off the mountain and look to the Creator of that mountain, focusing upon Him then your fear would subside and the possibility of excited anticipation may even fill my soul. We see Him as we focus ourselves upon the scriptures. As you begin to consider the Lord’s plan we will realize He has a mountain climbing manual (Bible) and He designed the climb. It’s not the size of the mountain in front of us that matters. It’s the size of our God and His faithfulness. It’s not our inability that matters rather it is remaining faithful to His Word as we climb. Are you facing a climb? Sooner or later we all face unexpected mountain climbs and we find ourselves clinging to the side of a mountain wondering how this happened! The scripture is clear in that we must focus upon God as His attributes not focus upon our inabilities which are real. Keep your heart fixed upon Him (Ps. 57:7). I use to think that the best part of the whole process was the view from the top when you finally made it there but through the years I have learned differently. Actually the best part of the climb is the total surrender and dependence upon Him that draws you to a new level of closeness to Christ. It’s nice to sing His praises from the mountain top but it bring Him even more glory when you praise Him all the way up the mountain (Ps. 57:8-11). Where is your focus today? The mountain or the Creator?
Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.
PB & J