WIMD Pulse - November 2012
Down From the Mountain
By Patti Francis, MD
“…Jesus took…them up a high mountain by themselves…” (Mark 9:2, ESV).
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness…” (2 Peter 1:3a, NIV 1984).
I’m on a flight from San Francisco to Charlotte for our annual Marriage Commission meeting. I’m always amazed at the ability of this full airplane to get off the ground and get me across the country in a little over four hours!
It is crystal clear and I recognize some of the peaks that we’ve climbed in the Sierra Nevada. The valleys in between are deep and shady. There are no cities on the mountain peaks – they are all in the valleys.
It reminds me of when Jesus took Peter, James and John up to their mountain top experience with Moses and Elijah. I know they were fearful, but I’m sure they were exhilarated as they were coming back down.
Oswald Chambers (My Utmost, 10/1) says the true test of our spiritual life is in exhibiting the power to descend from the mountain. We are not made for the mountains, but rather for the valley and the ordinary things of life, and that is where we have to prove our stamina and strength.
How does one incorporate such a “mountaintop” experience into the daily, unexciting grind in the valley? I think back at some of my mountaintop experiences. The birth of each of my two girls (after they were born, of course!) is at the top of my list. They are now 28 and 33 and both only occasionally part of our valley experience. My three WIMD trips the last three years to Ecuador and House of Hope in Nicaragua brought some fear and a lot of hard work to get to the mountaintop, but the memories of fellowship with the missionaries, the locals and our team still give me a high. The recent WIMD annual conference in Cleveland was another opportunity to reconnect with other Christian women in medicine and dentistry that restores my soul once I get there. But the mountaintop is not meant to teach us anything, it is meant to make us something.
So we live in the valleys of busyness with work, staffing issues, raising kids, making marriage work (which is why we are still on the Marriage Commission!), or being single and dealing with “aloneness.” Trying to balance all the demands placed on us every day remind me of where I live. 2 Peter 1:3-4a is a reminder of how to live in the valley. God has given us His divine POWER for all the “stuff” that happens in the valley. Through His precious promises (of which it is my desire to memorize, if only it wasn’t so hard!), we become partakers of His divine nature. How amazing, how glorious – the REAL mountaintop experience!
So the promise I DO pray on as many days as I can remember is Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (NIV 1984). JOY, PEACE and POWER – what more could I need to live in the valley? But it’s only having been on the mountaintop with Jesus that I’m reminded of these great and glorious promises. I’m grateful for them. And that’s what makes us a witness for Christ – when we bring that mountaintop joy and peace into the valley of pain and suffering that we see every day in the valley.
What mountaintop experience with Jesus and His family have you experienced that helps you live in the valley?
What promises from God’s Word do you need to claim, write out, pray, even memorize (if I can do it, so can you!) that will help you live in the valley?