A Map and Photos

“Please show me your glory,” pleaded Moses. God gave my wife and I a glimpse of Denali (Mt McKinley) on our recent trip to Alaska. God told Moses, “you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.” (Exodus 33:23). Similarly, we did not see the whole mountain and not for long. But what we did see was glorious. As we were hiking back from the McKinley Bar (sand bar that is), I turned around and there behind us was the snow covered peak, barely distinguishable from the white clouds. It towered high in the sky, much higher than we imagined it would be. The view of Denali from the Wonder Lake area is the closest one can get by road, about 25 miles. And then the peak rises 18,000 feet above the valley floor, so it is quite magnificent and quite high. We had a few other treasured peaks at the peak that evening and then a few days later as we drove south. The words to the song, High Above It All by For All Seasons, came to mind.

DSC_8722

 

Waters roar and mountains fall
You remain high above it all
You are high above it all
Seasons change and nations rage
You remain high above it all
You are high above it all
Almighty God

 

We just flew over Mt. Rainier in Washington state. It was a clear day and the 14,410 foot mountain is visible for hundreds of miles, commanding attention, awe and respect. Yet on a cloudy day you wouldn’t even know it was there. Like many in the Pacific Northwest, most of our lives are lived in cloudy days and rain. On such days if we look only to our circumstances (like the weather) for understanding and an interpretation of reality, we might conclude that God is not there. Yet, we have the Word of God and experience with God, both ours and other believers’, to point as a map and photographs reminding us that he is there, high above it all. Like a map, God’s Word tells us what he is like, his character and what kind of things he does. As we trust him, placing active faith in him, we begin to collect our own photographs or stories. These experiences of God’s personal love and faithfulness give us hope and strength as well as encouragement for others when the mountain cannot be seen for the clouds

We’ve just begun singing a new song, Do It Again by Elevation Worship, that illustrates the power of God’s Word combined with our experience as we trust him.

Your promise still stands
Great is your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m here in your hands, this is my confidence
You’ve never failed me yet

Our time in Denali National Park was limited to just three nights and we didn’t have a full view of the mountain. I’d been there 22 years previously and saw it all on a perfectly clear day. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was there. Its beauty was engraved upon my heart. The good news for the follower of Jesus is that we’re in it for the long haul. We’re not just tourists passing through for a few days every 20 years or so. We’re residents at the foot of the mountain. Our home is with God, every day and every moment forever. We can weather any storm until the clouds clear and we find that he was there all along. He is high above it all. The key to making it through the storm is grabbing the map, God’s Word, and those photographs, our experiences of his faithfulness or maybe asking other Christ-followers to share their own photographs that will encourage us. Then as we wait on the Lord, “we will gain new strength. We will rise up on wings like the eagles. We will walk and not be weary. We will run and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31). Eventually we will have another photo and another song to sing.

I’ve seen you move, you move the mountains
And I believe I’ll see you do it again
You made a way when there was no way
And I believe I’ll see you do it again

bill-signature

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About bornfun

I'm married with 4 kids, an orange farmer, a pastor and worship leader at Trinity Church. I love God and I love people. I seek to be wholly devoted to the glory of God, living all of my life as worship to Him.
This entry was posted in Bill's Blog, Faith, Music, Spirituality, Worship and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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