My son Matthew and I walked along the river’s edge. The dirt road meandered through the forest, green with spring’s new birth. This was one of Matthew’s favorite spots to hike — a favorite spot to climb the mountain.
We approached a large boulder laced with moss. It jutted out from the steep mountain slope where trees clung with strong roots in the face of mountain adversities. “Come on Momma. I want to show you the view from the top.”
Matthew took my hand and hoisted me onto the boulder’s ledge and we began to climb the mountainside. The forest’s carpet crunched beneath our feet. Briars snatched at our shins, and fallen logs blocked our path. This was a steep climb, arduous to say the least. A few times I wanted to turn back, but Matthew kept me going with the promise of grandeur once we reached the top.
I placed my hand against a forest giant — a red oak whose voice was rich with strength. I leaned into it and caught my breath. Looking up, I saw Matthew cresting the ridge. Periwinkle sky surrounded my boy as he towered over me. Exhilaration spun through my spirit bringing energy and determination. I patted the oak with a thank you tap and pushed toward the finish line where mountain meets sky and beauty takes the breath away.
Moses climbed to the mountaintop. Often. God called him there.
It never occurred to me until today that Moses’ climb was probably not a “walk in the park.” For one thing, he was carrying tablets of stone. But think about it: he most likely had to climb through steep terrain to reach the heights of Mt. Sinai soaring from the desert floor. Maybe briars snagged his legs and his feet slipped in the rocky soil. Perhaps he leaned against a fortress of boulders as he sought a moment’s rest.
But he pressed on. The climb was hard, but the reward was great.
For the Lord would meet him there.
“Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him [Moses] there, and proclaimed the Name of the Lord. And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin … So Moses made haste and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped.” ~ Exodus 34:5-6, 8
I reached the summit and Matthew took my hand to guide me across a scattering of mountain stone. The view was spectacular. Mountains rolled in a symphonic rhythm below us, cresting and falling … cresting and falling like a waving flag. A river ribboned through the lush vegetation of valleys far away.
The time of setting sun was drawing near. Glory burst across the heavens in hues of gold fringed with amethyst. My heart smiled as a gust of wind came up over the ridge. I knew the Lord was with us — He walks on the wings of the wind and clouds are the dust of His feet.
A songbird proclaimed His praise, heralding His Presence. Be near me, Lord, I prayed. Wrap me in Your glory as I stand with You here on the mountaintop. May I never forget that the difficulty of the climb is worth it for You are my great reward. You are my all in all — my everything.
As followers of Jesus, I think most of us enjoy the mountaintops, but perhaps we forget that to get to the mountaintop requires a journey — a journey of difficulty filled with boulders and briars. If we turn back when the journey becomes overwhelming, we miss the glory of the mountaintop.
We miss the majesty of our King.
Beloved, don’t give up. Don’t stop climbing, for on the mountaintop high above the fray awaits the One who loves you with an everlasting love. If you feel like you’re slipping or become too weary to go on, reach out your hand and feel His grasp as He pulls you to safety and lifts you to new heights.
You are a child of the Most High God. He is your great reward.