Last weekend Mandy and I took the girls for a drive through the Blue Ridge Parkway to enjoy the glory of God’s creation in Autumn. The trees, not quite to their full splendor, were beautiful nonetheless. As we hiked to Indian Rocks, an outcropping of some very large rocks and boulders off the Parkway, our three-year old informed us she was going to climb a mountain. Then, with a confidence that only comes from being the youngest of four and having to prove yourself, she sprinted to the rocks.
Up, over, around, always a step ahead of her mother and I, she climbed until she ran out of rock. She then boldly proclaimed, “I climbed the mountain!” Now you know and I know that she only climbed a rock, but in her mind, she scaled Everest itself. All the way home she spoke of how she climbed a mountain with Mommy and Daddy. Mandy asked her why she climbed it, to which Charley answered, “Daddy said I could do’d it, so I do’d it.”
We often quote Jesus when He told us that “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.” (Matthew 17:20). In fact, we often come to God, as we should, asking Him to move the mountains in our life.
There’s a Kilimanjaro of debt that looms before us. (move it Lord)
The Matterhorn of cancer blocks our way. (please, move it)
A Mt. Vesuvius, smoking with doubt and worry, chokes our faith. (O God, please move it)
But what if some of these mountains we are meant to climb, instead of move? What if God wants us to stand at the summit in victory and triumph over that which blocked our way? What if the mountain is there to make us stronger?
Travel with me to a garden nearly 2,000 years ago. There, in the midst of a grove of olive trees, stooped over with a burden of prayer is God in the flesh. He has a mountain looming before him. Physically speaking, it’s more of a hill, but historically, spiritually and emotionally speaking, Mt. Calvary casts a long dark shadow that rivals our highest peaks. Listen to His prayer. Three times He asks the Father to move the mountain. Three times the Father says, “Climb.”
So the next day, Jesus climbed Golgotha. His back is bent under the weight of our sin. Still He climbs. His head is pained by the thorns that came into being because of sin (see Genesis 3). Still He climbs. His steps are heavy with burdens that we should bear, but he bears them in our stead. Still He climbs. Up, over and around, He climbs, until at last, He reaches His goal: the place of crucifixion. To this day, the sign of a cross on a mountain is not a sign of defeat, but one of victory. There, on that mountain, Jesus defeated sin and Satan.
What mountain are your praying for God to move? Perhaps it hasn’t moved yet because God is waiting for you to climb it. Not alone, but with Him. So get climbing, after all, your Father says you can do it, so do it!