“No hardship could seem too great, no trail too long, no mountain impassable when the vision was upon them.”
--Louis L'Amour (The Tall Stranger)
"Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which faces Jericho, and the LORD showed him all the land: Gilead as far as Dan."
--Deuteronomy 34:1 (HCSB)
The definition of a mountain pass "is a route through a mountain range or over a ridge. If following the lowest possible route, a pass is locally the highest point on that route. Since many of the world's mountain ranges have presented formidable barriers to travel, passes have been important since before recorded history, and have played a key role in trade, war, and migration."
In my life and travels I have traversed many mountain passes. Some to get where I need to be, others to see what was on the other side, and some to show others what was there. Some of these passes were easy to travel with no real grade. Others were close to being treacherous with narrow roads, hairpin curves, and rocky. Some were well protected with guard rails, while others had no shoulder or railing.
The object of a pass is to get to the other side. It is the easiest way possible, but it can still be dangerous. Upon reaching the summit there is usually a sigh of relief before heading on down the other side. At the summit often one can have a wonderful vista of the country, while at other times the forest is too heavy to see anything except the way down the other side. There have been times at the summit of the pass where there were storms--thunder, rain, hail, sleet, or snow and often fog. Nothing could be seen except the storm.
The pass; it must be crossed if one is to get to their destination. In life, physically in traveling it is true, but there are spiritual passes that we must pass over as well. There are mountains in our way that must be crossed in order to get to our destination. Sometimes these take extreme effort; the will combines with the spirit to overcome and cross the summit. The going may be hard and the way full of obstacles, but the pass must be crossed. In these times it is important not to rely only upon your strength, but to lean hard on the Holy Spirit and let Him guide us over the trail.
There is one pass that all must eventually cross. The name of that last pass is Death. The old-timers would say when a comrade died, "they passed over the Great Divide." Death is the last pass over the Great Divide between life and death. The travel up that last slope may be a steep grade, or for some it may be a gradual incline, but the pass is there. Paul says that for the believer it is only "sleep."
That last Pass leads to the promise of eternity. What is on the other side will be determined whether or not the individual accepted Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior. For that person crossing the pass leads to the glorious wonder of heaven. For the person who does not know Christ, they will see the burning lake of fire into which their trail will take them. All will cross this Divide, this last pass; this trail cannot be detoured.
One thought regarding Moses as he stood on that last pass of his life. God showed him the Promised Land. I wondered if God showed him only the land, but the promise within the land. I wonder if Moses saw into the future of events that would take place on the land, from the nation of Israel, to the cross of Calvary, to the coming of Armageddon.