“If anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.” – Mark 11:23
A few summers ago, my dad and I traveled to Washington State. Following a picturesque cruise to Alaska, we planned to visit Mount Rainier National Park where we would spend a few nights at Paradise Inn. Built in 1916, this lodge is designated as one of the “Great Lodges of the West.” The only thing more beautiful than the lodge itself is its surroundings. For this particular lodge sits in the shadows of Mount Rainier, a majestic mountain that is crowned with a snow covered cap year round. No matter where you stand in and around the lodge, you are captivated by the 360° views of mountain vistas. The lobby is adorned with gorgeous woodwork, hand-painted lampshades, and enormous stone fireplaces. The dining hall serves succulent dishes that would satisfy the taste buds of the most discerning palette. But of course, the main attraction will always be the mountain.
The first time I laid eyes on Mount Rainier, I felt as if I was one step closer to Heaven. The atmosphere is so clean and fresh, with the smell of Evergreen trees permeating the air. The views are so breathtakingly beautiful, like a National Geographic postcard. The location is aptly named because it truly does feel like you have stepped into paradise. I’ve been blessed to travel to several locations in my life where I felt entirely safe, where I was utterly stress free, and where it seemed like the peace filling my soul could never be jolted, even for a moment. While our entire stay at Paradise Inn certainly fit this description, we encountered a major interruption on the way to the airport. For this seemingly perfect day that started with a huge smile on my face would transform itself into one where my face was streaming with tears.
As we were driving between Mount Rainier National Park and the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, a mother deer charged toward the front fender and bumper of our vehicle. We swerved, braked, and did everything we could do to avoid hitting the deer. We did all we could do. But it was no use. When we finally came to a complete stop, I looked back at the deer in the middle of the road. Although my first thought should have been one of gratefulness for our safety, I happened to notice a couple of fawns standing on the other side of the road in the grass, looking toward what appeared to be their mother lying there, still and unmoving. The fact that they would have to go through the rest of their lives without their mother overwhelmed me. It was at that very moment that tears began to stream down my face.
You see, it wasn’t the deer for which I was primarily grieving over. I saw myself in those precious fawns. One moment they were walking with their mother, having a perfectly good day. The next moment, their life turned upside down. The shock, the sadness, and the disbelief all came back to me in a wave of emotion. I had cried before, but this time I let the tears truly flow. I couldn’t control them anyway. But somehow, someway, I feel as if God used these tears to cleanse the sorrow that seemingly overshadowed everything I did, including the bittersweet feelings I had whenever my dad and I visited a new destination. Through this moment filled with shock, God showed me that life does go on. He showed me that even though life would never be the same, we could truly find a new normal, something I thought was not even possible up until this time.
Since that day, I have realized several things that were not apparent to me in the midst of those circumstances. First, God sent His angels to protect us, bringing our vehicle to a complete stop. Neither my dad nor I received any injuries. The air bags did not even deploy. How much worse it could have been. The volunteer fire fighter we spoke to before heading back to Seattle said a local family could use the venison from the mother deer and he was hopeful that another deer would adopt the two orphan fawns. While none of these things on their own made this a “good” experience, I see now that God did take this unfortunate situation and turn it around for good. Through this detour on our journey, food was put on a family’s table, and my dad and I were reminded that God has not forgotten us. For no matter what we are facing, I know for certain that God never fails.
What about you? Are you struggling to find emotional healing from a detour in your life? Is there a mountain that you just cannot seem to climb? I want to encourage you today. Jesus will help you move that mountain out of your way. All you have to do is have faith and believe. No matter what you are going through, Jesus Christ is the answer. He will pick you up, dust you off, and give you a brand new beginning. Do not let anything or anyone stop you from living your life. Get back on the road of life, keep your eyes on Jesus, and keep on driving. You can’t change the past, but you can find a new future. Jesus wants to give you hope and life eternal. Whatever you are suffering from, whether it is drug or alcohol addiction, verbal or physical abuse, grief over the loss of a friend or family member...whatever it is, Jesus will meet you right where you are. He loves you more than life itself. That’s why He gave His life for you. Call on the name above all names, Jesus Christ, today. Then watch that mountain move!
In Christ’s Love,