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Devotional Archives
(November 10, 2004)

Disappearing Mountains

      By Fern Horst

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1)

"Look! The clouds came down and sat on the mountain!" my three-year-old nephew exclaimed. He'd noticed one of the many different landscape changes that clouds create in the view from where I live.

Some time ago some friends came for an overnight visit. On the day they came, it was so cloudy that they couldn't see that there were mountains in the distance. By the next day the clouds had lifted and on the horizon was a whole mountain range where it had appeared to be only flat land the day before.

On days that the clouds obscure the mountains so that it appears they aren't even there, I believe in good faith that they are still standing, even though I can't see them. And that's what faith is, as we are told in the "Faith Chapter" in Hebrews. I know that the mountains are still there because there are many days that I can see them quite clearly. I've also experienced their winding roads and breath-taking views. These experiences keep me from doubting that they are still there when the clouds come down and "sit" on them for a day or so.

When problems and difficulties descend on our lives the way clouds sometimes do to mountains, they can often obscure the obviousness of God's presence in our lives. When this happens, it's important to remember that God is still there; problems, difficulties, and even our own feelings have no effect whatsoever on the reality of His presence with us. We can hang onto this fact by recalling the times when we have felt God's presence near and when we have clearly seen His hand moving in our lives and those around us. These experiences give us reason to believe that He is always with us and that He is still in control, even when things seem to be falling apart. We also have His promise that He will be with us always, that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). We can rest in this promise because we know that God always fulfills His promises.

We can build our faith and strength for the times when clouds obscure God's presence by keeping a record of His working in our lives to recall when times get rough. This may be a mental list that we have memorized and keep adding to as our encounters with God multiply. We may choose to write a list to keep in our Bibles. Or we may include them in daily recordings in a journal or diary. Whatever method works best for each of us, it's important to have some way of recalling these faith-building experiences. We'll need them for those "cloudy" days.

© 2004 Fern Horst

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