Mountaintops & Monuments

Tiffany Redwing   -  

Coming back from Summer Camp can be quite challenging.
We go into camp excited about the wonder of what God is going to do in our lives & we leave fearing what will happen when I get home.
Camp allows for us to get away from distractions & focus on our

[YOUR] relationship with God.  
For some, you gave your life to Christ or recommitted your heart to Him. Possibly you were able to forgive someone or yourself for the first time. Others received the Holy Spirit or got healed of emotional or physical sickness.  Maybe you discovered your God given destiny.
I was in middle school when I was filled with the Holy Spirit & God called me to be a missionary.  I experienced the joy & freedom through Christ.  I always looked forward to going to camp & my parents did whatever they could to send me to camp each year.  I also remember going through the emotional high of being at camp then coming home & life’s difficulties hit you smack in the face.
The theme of camp this year was Back2Back & it was perfectly fitting that this theme was chosen.
In my life I have always tried to be the strong one. I would much rather do things on my own when it comes to a lot of things both in my faith and in my daily life.  Surrendering my problems to God can be challenging at times because I want to solve them on my own with my own logic and my own strength.
Let me tell you right now, this doesn’t work.
I went four years trying to solve things on my own.  Donnie Moore called on me to share on Thursday night what God did in my life this week.  On Wednesday night Donnie spoke about the Holy Spirit being our paraclete, the one who has our back.  I realized that the four years I struggled and fought for my life I was trying to do it on my own, denying the Holy Spirit to be in my daily life. I remember praying that God would take all my pain away.
Instead of asking the Holy Spirit to comfort me and to guide me I tried things on my own.
Donnie said it well, “It [our journey] not a sprint, it’s a walk.”
In that moment I got an image of a mountain.  I thought about the mountains I’ve climbed physically and metaphorically.
I absolutely love hiking and being in the outdoors.  I see God in nature & the beauty of His creation that He made for us.  There is something about being at the top of a mountain or waterfall and just basking at the beauty that is below you.  The climb it takes to get to the top can be challenging but the perspective you get at the top is what is worth striving for.  In the Pacific Northwest, mountains and valleys surround us so it is quite common to have a good view of at least one mountain.
Connecting the spiritual journey to the idea of mountains.  We often experience God in the mountaintop kind of ways; it’s breath taking & an emotional experience.  We journey back down to the routine of life, leaving the mountains behind us.
It’s not the mountaintops where we find God it’s the mountaintops that we’re able to look at life with a better perspective. 
What if instead of leaving the mountains behind us, we look to them and remember what God taught us?
In the book of Joshua, Israel conquered the land that was promised to them.  God commissions Joshua to “be strong and courageous” and gives him the promise to inherit the land.  When Joshua crosses the Jordan, God tells Joshua to build a monument out of twelve stones so that everyone who sees the stones will be reminded of what God did.
As an alternative to looking at camp as a mountaintop experience, let’s see it as a MONUMENT in time where God spoke to us [YOU].
When we live in the valleys, we need to look to the mountains to be reminded of what God showed us.
Pastor David, Pastor Josh & Donnie Moore brought the truest message of the journey following Christ:

Pray, ask the Holy Spirit to be in your daily life.
Walk in forgiveness, it’s a daily choice that we are to forgive others.
Get in the Word, soak up God’s word & promises for YOU.
Stand up, stand out, & stand together in Christ.
Be in community, don’t isolate yourself.
Stay connected to the church, serve in whatever way possible.

So as we follow Christ throughout our daily life, we look at our mountaintops as monuments of what Christ has done for us and what God has shown us.

Photos by Tiffany Redwing

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