Monday, March 14, 2011

God of the Mountains

I was watching The Waltons a while back (yes, with John Boy, Mary Ellen and the rest), and in this episode John Boy was all grown up and going to college. The clothes he wore, the car he drove and his slight southern mountain twang always threatened to give him away as a country bumpkin in a sea of rich, college boys.

The annual horse race that was held on Walton’s Mountain was coming up, and since John Boy’s family was too poor to afford a horse, John Boy decided to enter with his faithful, hard-working mule, Blue. One of John Boy’s rich, college buddies--who was forever playfully rubbing his wealth in John Boy’s nose--caught wind of this contest and decided to compete with his prize-winning race horse.

John Boy seemed fairly confident at first, but as the weeks went by and the contest neared, his friend’s boasting began getting into his head and the thought of racing against a purebred stallion had him a little worried.

The day of the big race came and people from all corners of Walton’s Mountain came to cheer on their favorites. John Boy sat on ol’ Blue, and the rich, college buddy strutted up to the starting area with his beautiful, quick, pedigreed horse, clearly standing a number of hands taller than Blue.

The rules were given to the riders. They were to ride to a certain spot, round a marked tree, and head back. How the riders and their mounts got there and back was up to them.

The race was on. College Boy and his thoroughbred were off, racing straight for the turnaround tree along with most of the other riders and their horses. John Boy and Blue knew the shortcuts. They veered off the main route, making up for Blue’s lack of speed with John Boy’s wisdom of knowing the terrain like his own bedroom, and Blue’s strength and sure-footedness that comes from being bred a mule.

They climbed up and down the steepest slopes, ran through creeks that might spook any other horse, climbed up out of the forested mountainside and onto to the homestretch path just ahead of all the other riders, including College Boy, and won the race.

Just as John Boy and ol’ Blue had a wisdom and strength that College Boy and his fast horse knew nothing about, so God’s children have been granted a godly wisdom and strength that is far richer than anything found on any college campus or in a bank account that is bulging at the seams.

Now, in case you think I’m saying that an education is unimportant or even wrong, I’m not. An education is great when you can get it, but its wisdom will never replace the wisdom of God. It is not a degree that grants us entrance into the kingdom of heaven, gives us eternal wisdom, never-ending strength or a peace that surpasses all understanding as we face our own uphill battles. It is only as we rely on the Lord that He will fill us with power, strength and peace to victoriously endure those mountainous terrains of suffering.

It is God, the Creator of the Universe, Who is able to sustain us and mature us in Christ, not just in spite of our suffering but because of it. It is the obstacles that are placed in our lives, coupled with the leading of the Holy Spirit that brings us a spiritual maturity that the world will never know. Unlike the world’s, His wisdom and resources are infinite and so is His love toward us.

So fall on the Almighty God, El Shaddai, which, ironically, is also translated as “God of the mountains.” He will more than take care of us and we, in turn, are blessed to have our lives used to glorify the Eternal God.

“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:30-32)

"Therefore, as it is written: 'Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.'"  (1 Cor. 1:31)

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Thanks for sharing!