Forty years had passed since the Isrealites left Egypt; forty years of wandering a route that should have taken about 11 days to travel. The promised land was ahead, but they couldn’t see it. I want to learn so I don’t wander around longer than necessary for God to do what He plans in my life. I love how sweetly the LORD speaks to His people in Deuteronomy 1:6-7 when they are stuck, as a result of their own sin. “The LORD our God spoke to us at Horeb: ‘You have stayed at this mountain long enough. Resume your journey and go…”. He gently told them to move on from where they were stuck, and I believe there is truth in this for us today. There is something better ahead, resume your journey.
As I look back at 2015, I wonder what mountain I’ve stayed at long enough. If I were to choose the mountain to turn from and leave, it would be the Mountain of Pain & Fatigue. Oh how I would love to resume my life, turn my back and go on, but despite my best efforts I can’t heal myself. It feels like I’ve been trying to leave for all of 2015, but that mountain is on my back and I’m carrying it with me. Sometimes the reality of carrying the weight gets too heavy so I set it down, sit and focus on it. Looking at it makes me feel sad and see loss, but carrying it somehow makes me stronger so I pick it back up and journey on; searching, researching, making physical changes, going to doctors, taking medicine, pacing myself, walking and living. If my health puzzle is not the mountain I’ve stayed at long enough (4 years now), then what is I wonder? Sometimes we have to search below the obvious layers to identify where we are somehow stuck or stalled so we can resume our journey. While I ponder I ask God to help me name my mountain, so He can sweetly whisper, ‘You’ve been at this mountain too long, it’s time to go and resume the journey I’ve called you to.’
God helps me remember that 2015 was a good year full of great memories with rich family time and a lot of letting go. There were highs & lows; great joy in the midst of pain & suffering; success & failure; storms & calm; laughter & tears; progress & set backs; insight & overwhelming confusion; a couple more pieces to my health puzzle & tough treatment roads; great effort towards getting well without the desired result, but through it all God was in and with me teaching me about Himself, who He’s created me to be, His faithfulness, how to trust Him, put hope in His promises, live with joy, hold onto peace in the storm, love beyond myself, how to have patience no matter the circumstances and faith in His plan for my days. I’ve learned, grown and changed in the process. Here are some themes I can identify as I reflect through this past year: be faithful in the little things; walk worthy and walk well in all situations; honor God in my relationships; love others- it’s the people in my life who matter most; do challenging things; lean into hard circumstances & conversations; in my weakness, He is strong; even if healing doesn’t come, I will trust Him; be kind; Jesus is enough. Of this I’m confident: God has been faithful through it all and will continue to be, no matter what comes my way.
So, what is the mountain I’ve spent far too much time at? I’ll continue to ponder this question in my heart. Can you name the mountain you’ve stayed at for far too long? Here is the link to the message, ‘Can You Name Your Mountain’ by Steve Carter, revolving around this scripture from December 26/27 at Willow Creek Community Church, give it a listen: https://willowcreek.tv/
Three days until 2016 and the start of reading through the Bible cover to cover. I can’t wait! Will you join me at your own pace with your own plan?