The Other Side of the Mountain – A Devotion

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Isaiah 40:28-31 (NLT)

Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

 

I don’t really know what my expectation was or how life would be after our son had his transplant. I am not sure why this leg of his journey would be the hardest of them all. Life has returned to a somewhat normal state as I go to work, take care of children, prepare for a wedding and realize that Christmas is just after that. My list seems doable. Yet life feels so overwhelming right now. I rejoice in the fact that the Lord has healed and delivered our son once again. One might assume that coming down the mountain might be just a bit easier than the climb, but this is not what I am feeling or seem to be experiencing. There is no eminent danger of which I am aware. Everyone seems to be doing well but I am not. I am unsettled and stirred up from the inside out. Did I think that this fight would not change me? I guess I thought things might be somewhat normal when we were on the other side of this mountain. Have I heard? Yes, He is our healer. The One who is ready to renew and restore the joy of my salvation day after day as I live and breathe in Him. I know this is true. Do I understand? Yes, I know that He is turning every detail in my life to reflect His Goodness, Mercy and Love. I understand this completely and am confident in it. I trust the Lord. I do. He gives me power in my weakness and strength when I am powerless. Could it be as I leave this mountaintop experience that I am being reminded that the journey not about overcoming a mountain but rather overcoming me?

Psalm 51:10-11 (NLT)

Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.

 

The pursuit of healing for our son forced me to become fully reliant and dependent on the Lord. I had to wrap myself in His Righteousness and get lost in His Presence to make any sense out of the situation that we were facing. Now on the other side of the mountain, I believe that as I begin to walk in my own strength and power at the end of desperation that I find this is not the life that I want any longer. The life when my disloyal spirit wandered in and out of the Power of God assuming that I could successfully accomplish anything myself. I am struggling beneath the burden of life and human expectation. Could it be that as a person who has been dependent on a respirator to breath struggles without assistance that as I try to do things myself it is my body struggling to breathe without His Spirit that is perplexing me? I do not want our son to face another round of treatment or any of my children to be in danger, but I do want to live in His Presence maybe that is why I struggle in finding my way back to normal life. My life doesn’t have to be normal unless I choose to allow it. I do not have to lower my expectations from supernatural to natural. I can live in the overwhelming power of my awesome God no matter where I walk in life.

Isaiah 38:15-19 (NLT)

But what could I say? For He himself sent this sickness. Now I will walk humbly throughout my years because of this anguish I have felt. Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live! Yes, this anguish was good for me, for you have rescued me from death and forgiven all my sins. For the dead cannot praise you; they cannot raise their voices in praise. Those who go down to the grave can no longer hope in your faithfulness. Only the living can praise you as I do today. Each generation tells of your faithfulness to the next.

 

I am only human and the Plan governing my life is by God whose understanding and oversight is far superior to mine. He knows the end from the beginning making Him an authority when it comes to my life. I have studied His Word for years now, yet I am still no Bible scholar as each day I learn something new and intriguing about the God I love and serve. There are some who will understand what I am about to share. There are those who will refute it and become contrary. God sent sickness and disease to the earth. It is the consequence of sin. We chose sin and therefore, sickness and disease is the ramifications of disobedience. I do not believe that God reached down and handed our child cancer. I believe a generation of people dating back to the Garden of Eden are the reason. God sent the Law to show mankind our need for Him. Sickness is a complication that comes from our inability to follow His Way. Rebellion caused such a thing to happen. But Jesus! Jesus came to die on the Cross and become our Healer. We would not need a HEALER if there was no sickness or disease in the world but only a Savior to take away our sin. This becomes logical if you really think about the Word of God, His Will and His Way. Now with all that being said, “Is it possible that God allowed our son to become ill to lead us to life and health?” Absolutely. I cannot explain to you the difference that the faith found in this journey has made in our life. The impact of our victory is such a reinforcement of confident hope. How can God not be at the bottom of such a profound revelation and awesome change? The anguish was good for me because as He rescued our son from death – I found new life in Him. No one will ever change my mind or make me believe that God is not real. They cannot convince me that the Lord does not love me. His Faithfulness is unquestionable because I know that He lives now. God, Jesus and His Spirit now impact my life like never before so there is a change. This entire situation has transformed me on the inside so now my outside is struggling to survive.

Joel 2:25-27 (NLT)

The Lord says, “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts. It was I who sent this great destroying army against you. Once again you will have all the food you want, and you will praise the Lord your God, who does these miracles for you. Never again will my people be disgraced. Then you will know that I am among my people Israel that I am the Lord your God, and there is no other. Never again will my people be disgraced.

 

I realized this morning that I am on the other side of the mountain that once seemed so tall and foreboding. I am now trying to put my life back together now. God doesn’t want my life to ever be the same as it was but wants to restore and renew our life. He will return everything the enemy has taken from us that is of any value or worth. Sunday morning waiting for the service to begin a woman came to sit with me. She had a sense of urgency. Her son has had a lifelong illness and the doctors want to do surgery before he gets sick again while he is still in good shape. She feels like this is the best option. But the boy’s father who is not a believer is terrified that his son might not make it. She looked me straight in the eyes, taking my hand in hers, said, “I am so afraid.” I encouraged her and am praying for her even today but in that moment the Lord confirmed yet again that this journey has not been meaningless. However, in the midst of an upturned life sometimes it is hard to see the purpose and meaning in the aftermath of tragedy no matter how triumphant. God has promised to renew and restore us. The end of the test is the place where restoration begins when the battle is over. I believe that each test and trial that we face in our life is about repentance. (Joel 2:12-14) True repentance is turning our life over to the Lord day by day and moment by moment. I said I was sorry for my sin when I called on the Name of Jesus but how I live shows the Lord if I really meant it or not. When my children were little and would begin to fight, I would make them apologize to each and hug each other. They would do it in obedience to me but I could tell right away if they meant it or not. Once they got out of my sight, I could hear them fighting all over again if their repentance was just to get out of trouble. Don’t make me explain the parallel just suffice to say that God sees our heart. He knows exactly what it will take to turn this life around. He will stop at nothing to have us with Him forever. When we repent, God begins to restore what we have given up with His Goodness, Grace and Love. You will not have them if you do not make room for them. Sometimes humans need a little help emptying their life of worthless things to make room for what really matters. God’s Spirit restores and renews us from the inside out. When God pours more of His Spirit, His Person, His Breath in our life – we are refreshed. If you feel stale today, maybe you just need a fresh does of His Spirit to fill you back up. Perhaps you need to reconnect with His Kingdom and step back in His Presence from which have wandered. It could be that you are also on the other side of the mountain and just need more of Him to make it through this process. Job made it. Everything that he lost was restored and he received double for his trouble. (Job 42:10-12) But note that God did not bless Job just because he made it through that awful time, God blessed Job because he had a change of heart.

2 Corinthians 4:15-17 (NLT)

All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!

 

Everything that God allows to happen in our life good or bad is for our benefit. He wants to bless us. The Lord is ready to heal us, renew us and fully restore each one of His Children. Remember the prodigal son, face down in a pig pen eating the slop made of leftover garbage he came to the realization to serve his own father would mean a better life than this. In humility, he returned home to be greeted by his waiting dad who was so excited to see him that the master threw a grand party. His brother did not feel the same way. He was mad that his sibling was not punished for his rebellion and became bitter. Too often we expect climbing the mountain to be the tough part, but I challenge that today in that I have found the other side to be much harder. I do not want to get mixed up in the world again even if it is to share the Truth with other. I want to remain on the mountain but it is not where I belong. The message written on my heart is to be shared with a watching, waiting and desperate world when all I want to do is get lost in His Presence and never leave there again. This process of planting was watered with tears. (Psalm 126:4-6) Now that there is nothing to see and life has become uneventful, I am now trying to depend on me again but there is nothing left. When His Grace became sufficient to me, I lost my strength and power to move on without the Lord. So here I am on the other side of the mountain only to realize I need Him more now than ever before. I need Him. I cannot live and breathe without Jesus in my life. The mountain forced out all my breath and I am now filled with His Spirit. The inner conflict is my flesh trying to overtake God’s Spirit, but I must overthrow my flesh by throwing off my sinful nature and working hard to remain faithful even after the danger has past, and healing has come. Why wouldn’t I? Because I am human.

Romans 15:13 (NLT)

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

During the race of faith, the great cloud of witness shout and encourage us to keep going and never give up. After the race, they are silent and this is when truth is revealed. Did you run to get by or did you run to win? I believe it is here after you cross the finish line of a trial or test that in the silence we discover what we learned, how we benefited and if our faith is real. Confident hope is all the evidence we need to keep chasing after God. His Spirit gives us total confidence in the Lord as He packs us with as much faith as our hard human heart will allow. God is the Source of my hope. Human nature tries to find it somewhere else. On the other side of the mountain, I find that my life is no longer intact. It will require rebuilding, renewal, and restoration. Now that I have finally figured out that He is all I need, I breathe deep in His Spirit and find I am refreshed. I will figure this out as I am committed to discover His Word, Will and Way for my life. I will not be discouraged for now I remember what I learned on the journey up and understand I can take it with me. I do not have to leave my faith behind for I did not throw it away but planted it so now I have the opportunity to see the harvest of hope that comes with it. I will be renewed by the Power of His Love over and over again as I give more and more of my life to Him. I don’t have to be strong just relentless in my pursuit of the Lord. God wants to renew my life day by day, step by step until nothing remains between us not even that mountain.

I Peter 5:10-11 (NLT)

In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. All power to him forever! Amen.

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