I spent the weekend on a mountain with Jesus. The Cove in Asheville to be exact with some lovely ladies from my church.
On the mountain with Jesus, the rubbing world becomes a touch softer. Time decelerates to allow our wandering eyes to find Him and focus with intense precision. The clock’s tick-tock becomes a soothing melody to replace life’s shrill and demanding rhythm. The cares of the world dissipate as we focus solely on Him.
I want to stay on the mountain with Jesus. Sometimes I forget that when I leave the mountain, He escorts me right back down that rocky terrain. I tend to leave God behind on that mountain. I go back into my little life and grip it with every ounce of strength I can muster.
After descending the mountain Sunday, it didn’t take long for my praising of Jesus to become grumbling and complaining. It only took an overflowing laundry basket, an unplanned menu, remembrance of forgotten tasks, looming difficult decisions, and a glance at the upcoming week to turn my eyes from the mountain top to the realities of my life.
Sometimes I compartmentalize my Jesus. You just stay up here on this mountain. I’ll come back again soon. Don’t worry, you know I come back often because I need you so much. I’ll go down and deal with life, then we will meet up here again.
Ok, not literally, but if I’m honest with myself, my actions speak these sentiments loud and clear.
Our good friend, Moses, knows a few like me well. (Exodus 32)
He went up to meet on the mountain with God. 40 days he basked in the presence of the Father, receiving the very words from God that breathed true life into life, the commands that guide our entire existence. I imagine Moses wanted to camp on the mountain forever.
We were created to live in His Presence, doing life with Him. He’s never desired that we leave Him on the mountain and journey alone.
Moses came down that mountain to an impatient group of people. Tired of waiting on God to do what they wanted Him to do, they took life into their own hands and created their own little god. Guess smartphones aren’t the cause of our impatience after all.
Oh, don’t I do that? Don’t I take my to do list, my desire to have my husband meet all my expectations, my kids’ bad attitudes, my writing, my housekeeping, my friendships, my hopes, my anything I hold dear and get frustrated on waiting for God to be what I want Him to be for me. So I just make a little calf out of the dailies of my life. I do a little dance. And I get nothing back but more frustration, more impatience, more feelings of failure.
I leave my God on the mountain and pick up a little calf on the climb back to life. God never wanted me to leave him on that mountain. He wants to hold my hand, He wants to whisper truth over the voice of the enemy.
He wants my heart to sing His praise louder in the realities of my life than He does on the mountain with my girls.
I can’t do that when I leave Him on the mountain. I can’t take both God and my little gold calf. I must choose which to cling to and which to throw into the fire.
In theory it’s easy to choose. I choose God. In the moment by moment, many times, I pick up my little calf and stumble and grumble through my day. I think I’m holding onto God, but I’m not.
He’s always here to journey with me. He wants to swim through life’s swamp with me. He’s here for me to lay down my parenting heart’s desires at His feet. He wants to take the fears that I close my fist around and replace them with a faith that can move a mountain.
My grip must loosen. I grip the good of this life, I grip the fears of this life, I grip my desires of this life, I grip what I can’t control of this life. I grip it all. A tiny little calf I hold in the palm of my hand. I know I need to let my fingers relax and let those little gold calves of my life fall into the flames.
Freedom comes when we let it all go. We will have free arms to hold onto Him with. He is limitless. We are not. He has arms to hold the entire world at once. We have arms that can only hold a few things at a time. If we let go of everything we cling so tightly to, we can cling to Him, and He can hold everything we try so desperately to hold.
When we place ourself in His arms, whether on the mountain or in the realities of life, we are free.
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