Where do we live?

My wife Lisa had picked up an old note pad of mine, about 15 years old (!), to use up the paper in it before going to buy a new one. As she used it the other day, she ran across a piece I had written sometime in the late 1980s, and suggested that it was worthy of posting here. As I read it again, I had to agree. Although not directly related to my recent theme of how big God is, it does speak to our life in Him.

This was probably written in December or January of whatever year it was. Beth Hallel is a Messianic Jewish congregation in North Atlanta.

“This time of year, at least for me, is always a time for reflection on where I’ve been and what I’ve done in the last twelve months. During a visit to our brethren at Beth Hallel, Rabbi Solomon made a comment in his sermon about mountains that got me thinking. Upon reflection, I realize that I have been doing a lot of walking in the ‘valleys’ of life. It has been pretty comfortable, and pretty easy; but not where I, or any Christian, should be spending most of the time.

We Christians ought to be mountain climbers. Walking through valleys is not our place; living in valleys is not our destiny. Our lives ought to be measured, not by the valleys we’ve walked, but by the mountains we’ve climbed.

Moses is perhaps the clearest example of this in scripture. Moses’ life in the Lord began on ‘the mountain of God’ called Horeb in Midian. Moses met God on the mountainside and his life was forever changed. On Mount Sinai, Moses came to know God in a way no other man did; he came, literally, into God’s presence and spoke with him. On the final mountain, Mount Nebo, Moses saw the fulfillment of God’s promise and the culmination of God’s purpose for his life and was taken into God’s eternal presence.

These three mountaintop experiences were connected by a lot of climbing. It is here that Christians are called to live. The Jews knew this principle; they had to live it annually as they ascended to Mount Zion to worship at the temple. As they climbed, they sang the Songs of Ascent, preparing themselves for the mountaintop experience of worship. The climb challenges us and strengthens us. The summit exhilarates us and gives us perspective on the world.

Yes, we must cross the valleys, but having come from the mountain we can share the wonder of the summit and bring along other climbers. Valleys are for passing through, not for staying. Mountains are where we belong. ‘Come, let’s go up to the mountain of the Lord…'”

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