The Mountains and the Seas

UntitledMy family traveled to Estes Park, Colorado last summer. If you have ever lost your breath at the beauty and majesty of the ocean, you need to experience the mountains too. Never have I been so awed by and so convinced of God’s existence, creation, and unconditional love. Everywhere you look, there are breathtaking views. The beauty expands far beyond what the eye can see and the view never gets old. Mountains that tower over you and pools of water that reflect the bright green landscape and clear blue skies offer you a glimpse of God’s love for us at every turn. It was humbling and exciting at the same time.

I was constantly reminded of Psalm 95:3-4
“3 For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.”

I haven’t always known the God described in Psalm 95. He hasn’t always been that real. Experiencing his creation in Estes Park was much like walking through the last year – I feel like I have a greater need and appreciation for a God who not only loves me unconditionally and offers grace upon grace and new mercies every morning, but owns and knows all of creation – from the depths of the earth to the peaks of the mountains.

In the last year God has allowed my husband and I to walk through hurt together. And what a blessing it has been. It feels so odd, to refer to a dark time in our lives as a blessing. But our God is good in that way.  It was painful and many days I wrestled with God more than I trusted him. But I didn’t wrestle alone. I wrestled with the man God had so perfectly placed in my life. And just like that, it was as if God ripped the blinders off and said “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth…” What he was teaching us in  the lonely, early years of our marriage, we got to use together. What God had been so subtly planting in my heart, he had also been working in my husbands. Two truly are better than one, and walking through this trial together allowed us to grow closer to each other and closer to God. {Ecclesiastes 4:9-10} How my heart rejoices in this.

God used a dark, hurtful situation to cultivate and new transparency and trust in my marriage. That is a blessing. And in the past year, I have truly experienced “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding…” {Philippians 4:7}.  We still have many unanswered questions and many hurts to heal from. But we have peace – about the people who have come and gone from our lives, about the decisions we have made, and about the purpose God has for us here and now. We don’t understand. But that’s okay – we don’t have to.

Exactly one year later (I’m not kidding here, literally 365 days later we are looking at a similar situation), God is pushing us further. The places where we have healed and processed together make us stronger and ready to “stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side…” {Philippians 1:27}. But the hurt is still raw at times, and the pain can make us bitter. Cynical. So we have to choose – to take our pain to the cross and lean in to Christ or to let it fester and push away from Christ.  The decision must be made daily – even hourly. Trust God or turn from him? Trace his faithfulness or fear for the future?

Today, I choose trust. I choose to believe “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” {Colossians 1:17} I choose to know in my heart that my God is Lord of all creation, from the depths of the sea to the highest mountain.

 

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