Taking the Mountains with Us

photo credit: Nathan

Damaris has been sharing about our recent family journey out West. What was looked forward to as a long-awaited 2 weeks of adventure, relaxation, and quiet time has now been catalogued in our minds and filed along side so many other memories of such trips – a camping trip by the lake, family visits down south, road trips into Canada… We are blessed, and we’re not afraid of road trips, so the list goes on!

As we hauled the crew off the mountainside our last morning in the Rockies and I told everyone to “say goodbye to the mountain,” it wasn’t a cheerful “goodbye” from any of us. All the kiddos were sad to leave their cousins at the cabin without them, Damaris probably was sighing at the thought of leaving all the quiet solitude behind, and the boys especially were realizing that there were a lot of chores waiting for them at home! The magical, crisp, spiced air of the mountains was soon to be replaced by Interstate 80 (through beef country) for the next 1,000 miles…

photo credit: Nathan

To us flatlanders them-there-mountains were a big deal : )

However, a 20+ hour drive back to middle-America gave me enough time to ponder this and see a flaw in my/our thinking.

While we certainly don’t get to see the granite sentinels of the Rockies very often, there are mountains that we don’t have to ever leave behind. After two weeks of R&R in ponderosa paradise, I don’t have to tell my children to bid these mountains ‘farewell’. In fact the more I think of where God has brought Damaris and I and our little caravan of pioneers on this journey of family, the more I realize that we’ve been living amidst, clambering up, and erecting our own mountains this whole time.

photo credit: Nathan

Have you ever considered that God has a thing for mountains…and piles of stones? He’s strangely intentional with big rock formations which stick up from their surrounding terrain.

Just a few thoughts on this:

The word “mountain” appears around 175 times in Scripture. About 1/3 of these instances are in just two books – Exodus & Deuteronomy.

What’s God up to in these books? …well, mainly:

  • Revealing Himself to His people as the “I AM”…on a mountain.

  • Giving all mankind the LAW…on a mountain.

  • Giving the designs for the tabernacle and how He wants to be WORSHIPED…on a mountain.

As far as big piles of rocks…this is what God had the Israelites do over and over:

  • After crossing over the Jordan River on dry ground – pile up 12 large stones in the middle of the river.

  • Upon the finding of Achan’s sin of theft and lying – stone him and make a pile of stones heaped over his body.

  • After finally defeating the city of Ai in Canaan – pile up large stones (strategically on top of the defeated king) in the middle of city gate.

  • Joshua defeated the 5 kings of the Amorites – piled up large stones in the mouth of the cave where they were buried.

photo credit: Nathan

It’s No Big Secret – God made it clear what he was doing, in Joshua chapter 4 God says about the Jordan River pile of rocks: (21)”When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ (22) then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ (23) For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, (24) so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever.”

photo credit: Nathan

And here are OUR Mountains! God has used mountains and rock piles as markers and memorials of His works. As Parents we are called to do the same. Whether it is through purposeful vacations with our children to get away for focused time together and with God, or it’s through daily instruction and observation of God’s hand in our families – we are building granite sentinels, too. We are charged, and given every opportunity, to point to God’s workings and teach our children who God is and what He has done. Ultimately, as verse 24 says – that the whole world might know and reverence Him!

some thoughts. Nathan

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