Coming Down the Mountain

On almost every trip I have made to Haiti with Coreluv, I have climbed the mountain in front of the guest house. Actually, for me, the trip down the mountain is more difficult than the climb. When I’m climbing, I can look up and see the top, the goal, the pinnacle. When I’m going down, my eyes are focused on the slippery rocks beneath my feet.

In Luke 9, the story is told how Jesus took three of his disciples, Peter, James and John, up on a mountain to pray. They could not imagine what they were in for! While they were on the mountain they experienced the transfiguration of Jesus and saw Moses and Elijah. They heard the voice of God coming out of a cloud. What a mountaintop experience! Yet, in verse 37 Luke begins to tell us the story of what happened the next day when they came down from the mountain.

A man comes to Jesus saying, “I beg you to look at my son.” His son was possessed by a demon and the disciples had not been able to drive out the evil spirit. They had taken their eyes off of what they had just experienced the day before. Jesus had just given them power and authority over all demons in verse 1 and they still did not believe they could heal this man’s son. Jesus rebukes the unclean spirit, heals the boy and gives him back to his father. Luke tells us that “all were astonished at the majesty of God.”

How are we like the disciples when we take our eyes off of the mountaintop experience? When we go on a mission trip to Haiti we get to see the miracle of God taking care of widows and orphans. We leave behind the busyness of our everyday lives and focus on God’s provision for His children. We steep ourselves in devotions that call us to action and a steeper climb. We rejoice, we worship, we see change in ourselves and in others. But what happens “the next day,” when we return home?

Coming down the mountain, we begin to focus on our own needs: safety, slippery rocks, thirst, fatigue. That focus on our own needs quickly eclipses what God revealed to us on the mountain. While our hearts are convicted in Haiti that we need to take care of the children, we can lose sight of that when we return home. The journey gets difficult because we are no longer focused on getting to the top. The man who called out to Jesus said, “look at my son.” In the same way God calls us to look at his children (James 1:27). Sponsoring an orphanage is one way we look at those children and see them in the way God calls us to see them. He has given us the power to help them.

I know Jesus must often wonder how long he has to bear with me. I must ask Jesus often to strengthen my unbelief. But he welcomes me, especially in my weakness. The Holy Spirit continues to lead me toward the paths that God has prepared for me. I want to stay focused on the mountaintop.

I invite you to join me there. God has so much more in store for us than we can imagine. When we hear God’s call and obey, we, too, will all be astonished at the majesty of God.


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