I recently had an opportunity to spend a weekend with a few friends up in Nevada City. We found a cute 2 room cottage at the Nevada City Inn. It was nice, clean and far from home, so it was all good! Throughout the day we laughed and cried as we shared our stories. Stories of our past and current frustrations; recent failures; pain from being hurt; desires for our families; hopes of the future; dreams of what may be. Each of these stories had a common thread….God.
Later in the evening we spent some time praising and worshiping God by dancing and singing to some of our favorite music. I think Mandisa’s song Stronger was the theme for the night.
“The pain ain’t gonna last forever
And things can only get better
Believe me, this is gonna make you stronger”
I’m always looking ahead to the next trip, when I’ll get to escape from my daily routine. Whether it’s with friends on a retreat, a family vacation or alone with my husband. Then as the trip comes to a close I find myself wishing the experience wouldn’t end. So much so that I put myself in a negative mood before returning home. This was definitely the case this past weekend.
At BSF we’re studying the book of Matthew. This week’s study was on Chapter 17. When Peter, James and John witnessed Jesus transfigured up high on the mountain. What an amazing thing to be a part of. As we discussed at BSF today, I don’t think Peter wanted this ‘mountain top’ experience to end. So he suggested putting up tents or shelters. It could have been because he didn’t know what to do and felt the need to do something, but I think he didn’t want this moment with Jesus, Moses and Elijah to end. But then God steps in and basically tells Peter to stop and listen. He needed to pay attention to what was going on to help him be better prepared for what was to come.
During the BSF lecture today I heard “Mountain top experiences are not meant to be long term, they are simply preparation for what is to come”. I felt like Peter up on that mountain. Like God was telling me to stop, listen and pay attention when on the mountain top.
I always looked at the mountain top experiences (time away) as time to unwind, relax, have fun and refresh. I never saw it as a time to learn something and I certainly never wanted them to end. I can’t get “preparation for what is to come” out of my head. It makes me excited for my next ‘mountain top’ experience!
Thankfully I’ll be attending the BSF Retreat in a few weeks. I am definitely looking at this differently now. This will be more than a time to escape the daily routine of life and connect with fellow BSF believers. This will be a time to listen. This will be a time God will use to prepare me for what is to come. Oh, I am so excited! Not for the retreat, well, yes, I am of course excited for the retreat. I’m even more excited to come back to see what God is preparing me for. To see how I will get to use what I learn.
I refuse to worry about what God might be preparing me for. Whether it be a difficult trial or an amazing opportunity, I know God will equip, is equipping, me for all I need.
How do you come down from a ‘mountain top’ experience?
My prayer for us today ~ Father God, I thank you for the opportunities to break away from our daily routines. I pray we take time to be still and listen for You during these precious times given to us by You.