It never rains in California…
Isn't that how the old song goes?
(FYI, the song was written and recorded by Albert Hammond in 1972. I know, I had the same reaction…who???)
So, let me answer the question – YES, it does rain in California!
And sometimes it sleets, and snows, and blows!
Last weekend we had some dramatic winter weather.
The winds were gusting, the rain was smashing into our windows, and an icy sleet covered everything with a chilly layer of white.
For a few days, it never got out of the 20's.
Now listen to me, you folks who live in the Midwest or Eastern part of the country. Don't be getting high and mighty on me, bragging on how you deal with your winter weather. I will gracefully concede that many of you face conditions much worse than this.
For a girl who's spent almost all of her life living near the beach, in sandals and shorts for most of the year, this mountain weather is a whole new story!!
Dealing with possible freezing pipes, and chipping out ice-encrusted cars, and shoveling driveways, and putting on and taking off chains, and any number of other winter challenges is brand new territory for me!
So, last weekend we had a STORM!!
Sunday was the worst day of all.
Yo, ho, blow the man (or woman) down!!
(Let me tell you, I am very glad for the protection of double-paned windows, a roof over my head, and good, solid carpentry!)
Monday morning arrived…
"The Hub" has a ritual that he goes through every morning.
He gets a big glass of iced tea (yeah, he grew up near the beach, too!), and stands by our huge floor-to-ceiling window. You know, the one with the breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains, and one very impressive granite outcropping.
He's like a lizard – he loves to soak up the rays of the sun first thing in the morning.
I knew the sun was not shining this morning.
Because along with the storm, we'd had crazy fog!
Carl Sandburg wrote a famous poem called "FOG".
Here's the first line:
"The fog comes
on little cat feet."
Yeah, well, this storm's fog hadn't come in like a little cat. It had arrived full-force, roaring like a lion, and blanketing the entire mountain in a shroud.
So, I asked "The Hub"…
"Can you see the mountain?"
"It comes and goes," he answered.
As a little joke, I replied, "The mountain? Or our perception of it?"
"You know," I quipped, "it doesn't really matter if we can see it or not. It's still there."
Throughout the rest of the day, I got to thinking about what I'd said.
And I got to thinking about how it applied to life lately.
I don't know what's going on with me.
Severe anxiety has plagued me for a couple of weeks now.
Personally, I think it has something to do with the fact that I am intentionally seeking to be grateful. And when one makes an effort to mindfully incorporate gratitude into their everyday life, *someone* isn't happy about that.
You-know-who always seeks to steal, kill, and destroy.
I have felt his influence more than usual lately. In some ways, it's sort of validation that this *journey of grateful* this year is indeed God's plan and purpose for me.
Sometimes God's work is confirmed by the counter-work of the enemy.
But, being grateful is made so much harder when you're fending off arrows of attack.
I get in these places, these moods, and I'm not always sure of how I got there – let alone how to get out of them.
And lately, that's just how I've felt.
Beleaguered, beset, bedeviled, bewildered.
Anxious and unsettled. Afraid and rattled. Discouraged and dismayed.
Off-kilter, overly sensitive, hyper-reactive – sad, mad, and glad in dizzying merry-go-round fashion.
Yeah, and also desperately out-of-control.
So, on this stormy morning, when I jokingly asked "The Hub" about the mountain, I saw a pretty appropriate lesson in it.
It is so easy to lose sight when surrounded by storms.
And sometimes, even though life might not be throwing a bunch of actual storms at us, the storm can still rage within us.
A fog of moodiness can blanket our hearts and spirits.
And we can lose sight of the mountain – The Rock.
It seems to me that there is a direct correlation between the state of my emotions, and my perception of God's closeness.
The more tossed and turned I feel, the less I feel Him there.
The more I am consumed with my inner tempest, the less I sense His presence.
If someone were to ask me, "Can you see the mountain?" – (Can you still see the Lord?) – my truthful answer would probably be, "It comes and goes."
But here's the thing.
The mountain – our Lord – never disappears.
He stands in the same place...
...strong and steady and sure, whether I see Him there or not!
Perception is never reality.
Feeling is never truth.
And moods never, ever change the position of our Mountain, our Rock.
God doesn't play cosmic hide-and-seek with us.
But we can certainly experience times when He seems distant, silent, hidden.
I'd have to say it's because we live in a world that is shadowed by sin.
Where truth can be hidden by the vacillating challenges of circumstances.
Where emotions can fool us, and feelings can trap us.
Where it seems like God is here one day, and gone the next.
Where few things are in our control.
So yeah, I'm not entirely sure what's responsible for this recent roller-coaster of emotion. This tumult in my spirit.
But, in the end, it matters not.
"Can I see the mountain?" I ask myself.
It's not the right question.
I do not need to see Him.
I do not need to sense Him.
I do not need to touch Him.
Fleeting senses, one and all.
I simply need to rely on what I know is true...
The mountain, My Rock, is there.
Unmovable, unchanging, undiminished by my lack of perception.
My emotions may ask the question.
But my heart will instead proclaim the Truth:
"It doesn't really matter if I see Him or not…
HE'S. STILL. THERE."
Yes, I will rest in that…
my eyes on
and my future
"For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made." (Romans 1:20, ESV)
"Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation…" (Colossians 1:15, NLT)
"No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known."
(John 1:18, NIV)
"No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us." (1 John 4:12, NLT)
"It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt…He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible." (Hebrews 11:27, NLT)
"For we walk by faith, not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7, Bearean Bible)
"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:18, NIV)
"Then Jesus [said], 'You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.'" (John 20:29, NLT)
"Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and though you do not even see Him now, you believe and trust in Him and you greatly rejoice and delight with inexpressible and glorious joy…" (1 Peter 1:8, AMP)
"Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely." (1 Corinthians 13:12, NLT)
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." (1 John 3:2, KJV)
"Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality – faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]." (Hebrews 11:1, AMP)
"But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!" (Job 19:25-27, NLT)
"Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen." (1 Timothy 1:17, NIV)
***REMEMBER to check out DAILY GRATEFUL THOUGHTS here***
(Updated DAILY GRATEFUL WORDS, A WORD FROM THE WORD, A "MESSAGE" FROM GOD, and FOOD FOR THOUGHT can be found on the sidebar. Thank you!)
In spite of the fog and storms in life, can you still see The Mountain?
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