Messages from the Mountain
This past Saturday I was scheduled to climb Mt. St. Helens with my friend and three other women. In the week leading up to the trip, I was not doing well. I had not gotten in enough training, and on Sunday I strained my IT band once again. I knew it was going to be a long shot for me to successfully make this climb, but because my friend Kristi had been the one to invite me, I knew I had to try. I also knew God wanted me to go. I began to pray that no matter what happened on this trip – whether I succeeded in the climb or failed – I prayed that we would be a good testimony on the mountain and that we would be a good witness for God. The morning I left for Kristi’s house, I received an email from my mother who did not know how I had been praying. Her email said, “Praying for strong legs and back and a clear testimony for those you are hiking with.”
I knew then this trip wasn’t about conquering a mountain but about sharing God’s love with those both in our group of 5 and with everyone we met on the mountain. My mother and I were not physically together, but we were praying for the same thing.
Matthew 18:19-20 Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”
Friday morning, I drove to Kristi’s house where she, Deb and I loaded our stuff into the truck. We drove to Laura’s house to pick her up and the four of us headed to Mt. St. Helens. Our plan was to camp at the base and climb on Saturday. Kristi’s daughter, Kelsey, was originally supposed to ride down with us, but she ended up having to work. Because her car could not be trusted on such a long drive, her father, Jim, decided to drive her down that night after work. They arrived at almost 10pm, and then Jim turned around and drove back to Brier.
Jim is a great dad, and it is totally awesome that he drove his daughter down to Mt. St. Helens to do the climb with us. It reminded me of our heavenly Father.
Matthew 7:9-11 Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
I woke up several times during the night. At 3:30 am, there was no chance of going back to sleep as some of the other climbers around us were closing car doors and packing for the trip up. I did lay there for an hour trying to get back to sleep, but I finally gave up, went to the restroom, and came back to the tent to wait for the rest of my group to wake up at the appointed time of 5:00am. While waiting I took my headlamp, flipped open my Bible and began to read wherever the Bible opened up. It was a great half hour with God, and I loved the verses He showed me.
I was reminded of the verse in the Old Testament when David tells Solomon that if he seeks God he will find Him. As I flipped open my Bible to “seek him” He was found.
I Chronicles 28:9 And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.Message 4
Saturday morning, we awoke to an amazing northwest day. The night had been cold but not miserable, and it left the morning air clean and clear. As we packed our tents and gear into the truck and prepared breakfast, I took a moment to share the scriptures that God had led me to that morning.
The first scripture God led me to in my “flip open the Bible” method was in Zechariah. God was talking about taking care of Judah. When I read this verse to our group, we all thought it was pretty cool that God would give us a verse that included strengthening, which we all needed a little of that day. The verse also says “in his name they will walk” which totally echoed what my mother and I had been praying about being a testimony on the trip!
Zechariah 10:12 I will strengthen them in the Lord and in his name they will walk,” declares the Lord.The second scripture God showed me was in Psalms. Here we are taught that first we need to know that God is happy with what we are doing. If he is happy with what we are doing, He will help us and protect us. Even if we stumble, we will not fall because the Lord will uphold us.
Psalm 37:23-24 If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.
The climb went well. Almost everyone in our group struggled at some point in the climb with an old or new injury, lack of conditioning or mental fatigue, but stayed positive, helped each other through the tough spots, spoke to tons of people, and represented Christ as best as we could along the way. The weather was amazing, but at one point the wind was getting very strong! It almost knocked a couple of us down, and I almost lost my hat. I prayed out loud asking God to please calm the wind a bit and instantly the wind was cut in half.
I think often we don’t get what we want or need from God, because we either fail to ask Him or we fail to believe He will do it. I was reminded of the verses in Matthew when Christ tells his disciples that they could not cast out a demon, because they had so little faith, and if they had faith nothing would be impossible.
Matthew 17:20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Over and over again on this trip, we saw God’s hand on our lives and on this trip. 5 Christian women climbed a mountain, got to know each other, and got to know God better. There is something quite amazing about tackling an obstacle with other Christians. There is a unique bond, a sense of community, a togetherness that is difficult to find anywhere else. We sang, we laughed, we cried, and we prayed our way up and down the 8365 foot hill that God planted in the middle of those trees. And in the end, we knew that “nothing is impossible with God.”
Luke 1:37 For nothing is impossible with God.