“I thought I was going to die,” reads a journal entry I wrote following my first experience climbing in the Colorado Rockies. Trincherra Peak sits at 13,517 feet and from tree line to summit you feel every inch of it. With every step, your breath grows increasingly more shallow, you hope, sometimes falsely, that the rock you’ve chosen to cling to doesn’t give way beneath you, and all too frequently you pause to relieve your aching legs and throbbing feet.
“Why did I think this would be fun,” you ask yourself.
But slowly and steadily, 1000 ft become 50 ft, becomes 1 step and you’ve summited the peak. The rush of relief and joy you feel are enough to knock you off your wobbly limbs. As you stand (or collapse) in breathless wonder, basking in your achievement, you feel both strong and so very small in the vastness of it all. And there, to commemorate your success is a monument of stones placed by climbers who have made their own journey to the top.
As I proudly placed my stone on the pile commemorating my journey to the top of Trincherra that day, I was reminded of those old testament believers that built similar altars to commemorate the good things God had done on their behalf. For instance, Genesis 28:10-19 tells the story of Jacob having a powerful prophetic dream and being transformed by the presence of God, he lays up a stone in his camp site and calls the place Bethel, meaning, house of God. Forever after, that stone would be a reminder to Jacob of his encounter with the living God.
We are daily building just such altars in our lives. Sometimes, we build these altars without even knowing it. It’s only when we look back we see stone after stone, moment after moment where seemingly insignificant connections to the Father, were mountains we summited by His grace. When I’m faced with new challenges I return to those monuments I’ve built over the years, those places where the Father rushed in like a flood to save me, when obedience to him paid off, when he comforted me through pain, whether I caused it or not. My life is a series of monuments built in remembrance of the goodness of God.
So, what monuments have you built as a response to God’s goodness in your life? What memories of His working in your life do you hold most dear? I encourage you to make a list and if you’d like to share, please leave a comment!
4 thoughts on “History with Jesus”
One of the memories I hold most dear is how Jesus has healed me.
That is awesome Cassie and a powerful testimony! I’d love to hear more soon.
Hi Antonette, While reading your story of your mountain climb, I recalled the last mountain I summitted. It was Mt Evans in Colorado. However, I was driven in the car up to the top and only climbed the last few hundred feet to the actual summit. There I found rocks and granite that normally can’t be found except in the mountain. So, I picked up a few small samples to bring back with me. As I reflect on this in light of your story – I realize my life has been a continual journey to the summit. The ultimate summit has always been fluid. When I think I’ve reached a certain height, I realize that it is only for a moment and then the summit is moved. At this time I have always collected a rock in my spiritual life. My monuments are small rocks that I carry to remind me of where I have been and where I am going. As Charles DIckens says in “Great Expectations” – you must have “portable” property (LOL). When I face another mountain to climb, I take my rocks out and remember the monument they represent. An example is the stone I carry representing 11/26/2003 – the day I experienced Jesus as my deliverer – He brought me out of Egypt!! It reminds me of His power and grace and gives me strength to never go back. My rock (stone) represents the different aspects of Jesus that I have experienced and as I look at the new mountain and see the summit far up in the clouds, I know that I can’t climb it, but must be driven up (carried) and allow Jesus to carry me by His grace. I think our bags of stones cause us to be transformed as living stones to be a part of the mountain of God – a place for Him to dwell. Thank you for sharing your story and causing me to reflect on my “monuments” and “summits” in my life.
That is beautiful! I love that “portable property.” That is absolutely right, we can only make the climb by his grace. That is something I experienced in having my husband’s encouragement on the way to the top during this climb. I couldn’t have done it without his experience and help and in the spirit we are making the journey with an expert climber! Such a good word Kathy 🙂