“Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said:” (Matt 5:1-2, NIV2)
The circumstances of life can take some twists at time, as nothing is one hundred percent predictable.
Rain was predicted for the whole morning, up to two in the afternoon. As we were on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, we especially wanted to savor the Old Man Storr and Quirang, as these mountainous places were reportedly out of this world, if you know what I am trying to convey. Sunshine would be a must to enjoy these fully, however, and as per the weather forecast, we had decided to visit them in the afternoon, when the sun would be out.
As we were passing the majestic Old Man Storr, named for its huge bolder that looks very much like an old man, we noticed that the parking lot was completely full. Some cars were even parked on the side of the road. I felt impressed that we should park our rental car and climb up the mountain now, even though the elements were not in our favor. My wife concurred.
The trek up the mountain was quite adventurous. The wind was blowing fiercely, so much so that if we had been carrying a portable windmill with us, we could have generated enough energy to fly up the trail! In fact, even without the windmill, I felt that at any time I would be lifted off my feet and flow to my doom!
At first our surroundings were out-worldly, as all the trees had been harvested, and the scenery that surrounded us looked more like a battle field than anything else. The howling of the wind didn’t help to alleviate that thought!
It also had rained quite a lot in the last couple of days, and patches of deep mud, as well as numerous slippery rocks, marked large portions of our path. At one specific place near the Old Man, the slippery path became very steep, and the mud even deeper. My wife, being a mountain goat by nature, went up the path without any problems. As for me, however, having been born without any mountain goatish tendencies, there was no way I could go up that path, especially after my flying experience over slippery mud in Pennsylvania. In fact, I was still carrying some vivid reminders of that experience!
I turned away a bit discouraged. “Father, help me with this,” I prayed. It’s then that I noticed a more strenuous climb, but without any mud. For once I became a mountain goat too, and I soon joined my wife.
As we neared the Old Man, something amazing occurred. The clouds seemed to evaporate into nothingness, and the sun began to shine. We were mesmerized by the beauty of our rocky surroundings as everything became truly alive. I was in seventh heaven, and I was in my element when I took out my camera to commemorate this heavenly experience. No way did I want to go back down! This is where I wanted to be for good.
Eventually, however, we had to return to our vehicle. My wife found a small path that was way easier than the broad road that everyone was taking. We tried to share this very fact with several trekkers, but most of them received the news with skepticism, as how could so many tourists be wrong? This reminded me of the following text: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” (Matthew 7:13, NIV) At least there was no destruction in this occurrence, except of course, for the “battle grounds” at the bottom of this mountain.
Had we followed our own agenda, we would not have experienced this heavenly encounter, as once down the mountain, the elements came back with full force, and it rained all the rest of the day.
Jesus likes to invite us to join Him in the mountains. It’s on a mountain that He shared pearls of God’s Kingdom beyond any human’s wisdom, The Sermon on the Mount. So much that at the end, “when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching,” (Matt 7:28, NIV2)
You are invited to come up that mountain as well, and this series will delve into those numerous nuggets given from above. Imagine being with these people, listening to Jesus, away from civilization, in the middle of nature, without any interruptions. God’s presence was palpable. His words were truly living pearls from heaven that will lead us to more majestic mountain experiences with our Heavenly Dad. After all, we were created to fully experience and enjoy our Dad’s presence. Jesus will lead us to doing so, so sit down, stretch your legs and relax. Bathe yourselves in the presence of God’s very words.
One suggestion though: Let’s not just listen. Instead, let’s let His words sink into our souls until our Heavenly Dad become our reality. Jesus’ words will touch us at the center of our beings. Enjoy the climb! The view is out of this world and will remain so for the duration of our passage on earth.
(To access the entire “Majestic Mountain View” devotional series, please click here.)