It’s funny how something as simple as looking towards the mountains or hearing a song can take you back to a profound moment in your life. Today as I was working I was listening to my collection of music which varies in style, range, type, and date. I like a lot of different stuff and enjoy it all. Then as I was working this song came on:
The first time I heard this song was after a very trying day. Years of lies, pain, guilt, and every other black thing you could think of had been piled upon the truth. I know who I am now and when I think of who I used to be I am amazed at the difference one weekend can make. I know so many folks were praying for me before and after the event but for me it was that one encounter … one Saturday on the mountain with God. Brothers and sisters around me … some going through the same process I was while others were there to help us through the valley. Every single person was touched that day; all of us walked away different than how we came. Unless you’ve been down the road I don’t know that it’s so easily understandable.
The world has this terrible conception of who God is. Most would say that because He does not show up and reveal Himself that the only thing they have to go on is how the church acts. History is littered with terrible acts taken by men in the name of God. Even in today’s world of instant media blitz it is the folks that do such a poor job of reflecting Christ that get the attention. It seems someone is always recording when someone is shouting what they are against but no one carries the message of what they are for. Part of this is our own fault … but fault isn’t the right word because we’re called to do good deeds in secret, to not do them to make something of ourselves or to say “Look at what I’m doing”. I myself have been on the receiving end of people helping us and not knowing where it came from … both monetarily and the essentials of utilities and groceries. In turn I’ve been able to help others.
There are many facets to God … this is about as close as we can get to a short description
Here’s what I know. A man filled with guilt, shame, and fear started feeling different a week before his journey. When the day came he got into his car and drove off waiting for yet another debilitating panic attack that never came. At the foot of the mountain he checks his map and looks to the top where he’s headed and literal storms are gathering. The dark clouds turn the mid-afternoon sky black, weighing heavy on his mind but unphased he puts the car back into gear and begins the long climb to Eagle Rock. Things don’t make sense, behavior is not the norm because he should be fearful, he should be panicked. Then the pain comes, the grief, the truth of what had happened. Prayer, brotherhood, sharing things that had been secret for so long with complete strangers. Mourning leads to healing, healing lead to restoration, and restoration led to unabashed joy and worship. The man who came back from the mountain was instantly and immediately changed. His name is anew, a calling on his life, the weakness has now become his testimony. Faith became fact.
I’ve seen it. I’ve lived it. Faith. Became. Fact.
It is real.
My brothers and sisters of Deeper Still know the details, they’ve walked the walk and shared the joy of the mountaintop. I will never forget their faces … the difference that an encounter with a real, living, loving God makes.
Remember the mountaintop