“The river went on and on, growing dimmer, becoming a mere thread, to vanish in a blue haze out of which the Rocky Mountains rose, first obscure and like low masses of clouds, and then clear blue, to rise up and up magnificent reaches to pierce the sky with their snow-like peaks.”
--Zane Grey (Wyoming)
"I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth."
--Psalm 121:1-2 (HCSB)
How many times have I woken up to look at the hills--the mountains? Nowadays I mostly see the forests of the Piney Woods, but the feeling is similar. There is something majestic about the mountains, or the desert, or the open country, or the woods. Perhaps they show the quietness of God's power; the stillness in which He works. There is so much wonder in the wilderness; it is as if I can actually feel the awesomeness of the Creator of the universe. There is a ruggedness, a danger, a wildness; but also a serenity, a calmness of sitting on a ridge overlooking a high country lake or a rushing stream that comes from under a snow bank.
Wait a minute. Isn't the wilderness supposed to be a dreaded place, a harsh place? Perhaps it is how you approach it and what you learn from it. Much of what we face in the wilderness has to do with our attitude or how they are changing. Our attitudes and actions should be changing and we should be able to adjust to our journey and face the challenges that may come our way.
The wilderness was vital in developing our nation. It helped develop the character of the people who pioneered and settled the country. The wilderness is vital in developing the character of the individual as well. Many did not survive the wilderness, but those who did usually came out better and stronger people. It takes strength, it takes courage, it takes integrity to journey through the wilderness. Today, few even talk about going to the wilderness, or if they do they want to take all of the modern conveniences with them. That alone shows that they do not understand the purpose of the wilderness. More and more people want handouts, want others to take care of themselves. More and more we see a nation that reflects welfare rather than industriousness.
Jesus, after His baptism, was immediately sent to the wilderness. Moses spent forty years learning of the wilderness for he was to lead a stiff-necked people through it for another forty years. He had to learn the lessons that God had for him. Also, remember that it was on a mountain in the wilderness where he met God. Paul, after his conversion, spent three years in the wilderness coming to know more of God and his purpose in life.
When times are rough, stop, look around you and you may see that God has allowed you to enter a special experience with Him. When the pressures of life seem to be demanding more and more of you, stop, look to the hills, breathe deeply of His presence. When the clouds have darkened and you can't seem to find your way; stop, above the dark clouds are the mountain summits even though you cannot see them. I love the words of Louis L'Amour, "Look to the hills. They are quiet. The storms sweep over them, and are gone, and most of man's troubles pass the same way. Whenever you feel that things are getting too much for you, go to the mountains or the desert--it smoothes out the wrinkles in your mind."
When upon your journey through life and there is upon the horizon a challenge or a problem or a storm look back at the times when God has been with you in a similar circumstance. In the midst of difficulties be aware of His presence. Be a person of God, and continue forward.