The final installment of my hike on Greenwood mountain unfolds here. And I will leave you with a few things I discovered about God's nature. Some of these new perspectives were already known information; others were known but forgotten. Still others were 'aha' moments for me. Maybe you can relate. First I want to share an account of Elijah. He was a spokesperson for the Lord and poured his life into his calling. Eventually he was near burnout and in fear for his life. That is where this text begins. Take a look.
"And the word of the LORD came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” The LORD said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him.” (1 Kings 19:9b - 18, NIV)
My time on the mountain was both cleansing and revelatory. I went to find God and talk. God was already there waiting. The hike allowed me to pour out my heart to God. God was already aware. I was able to whine a bit. God listened. I doubted me. God showed me Jesus. I compared myself with others. God reminded me of my uniqueness. I fumed over small failures. God recalled my sins for which Jesus died. I marveled at the beautiful view at the mountain top. God said, "You're welcome." I leave you with these gold nuggets.
Some things I learned about God’s nature:
God is patient.
God hears us when we cry out.
God will allow us to whine a bit.
God guides our footsteps.
God reminds us about the foolhardy attempts to compare ourselves to others.
God will test our faith.
God will use our trials and setbacks to clarify a point.
When ascending a steep hill, God will allow one step forward and two steps back.
God can calm our spirit.
God can demonstrate a point in the simplest creation.
God doesn’t always use a smack across the head to get our attention.
In the 4.49 mile hike, I never felt alone even though I walked alone.
If you struggle with your life and worth, know that God is with you and isn't done with you. Seek direction and pray for that still small voice to enter your chaos.