Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Move that Mountain

Year Four-Day 264: Today, I will choose to be grateful for "mountain assignments". 

Do you ever feel that you are facing the mountain? You are too weary to climb it. You are in need of a vacation more than one more thing that requires concentration of any kind. Still, the mountain is before you.}

It can be health changes, job changes, moving to a new place, relationship challenges or an assortment of other things. Still, the mountain is before you. 

He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:20

The Biblical examples are endless. 
Moses vs. the Red Sea
Moses vs. the Desert (water, manna, quail, shoes & cloud GPS)
Joseph vs. the Drought
David vs. Goliath
Esther vs. Haman's evil plan
Jesus vs. storms, hunger, illness and death
Jonah vs. Ninevah (actually...he was battling God on that one)
Peter vs. prison

But ,let us end with one that brings me to a "semicolon moment". Pause. Pay attention to what comes next. 

Stephen vs. Saul (who would be Paul when transformed by Jesus)
Ananias vs. Saul (as he transitions from persecutor to believer) 

Talk about  mountains to be moved! 

Saul was fueling the passions and firing up the leaders of the day on a campaign against believers in Jesus.  Christians were dying horrible deaths. 

Now, I love Paul for his passion.  So did God, but he was on the wrong team. He needed to be traded to the Jesus team. The same Saul who stood by applauding the stoning of Stephen... would be a game changer in the cause of spreading the gospel. A face to face meeting with the Master, some days of blindness and then he could really see. 

I have to wonder what the heavenly reunion between Stephen and Paul might be like. The awesome power of a life changing Lord turned persecutor into brother. Hate turned to love. What seemed like a tragic end to Stephen's life was a powerful factor in the story of Saul's transition to life as Paul. Jesus forgave Paul in a moment. Paul spent the rest of his life allowing the grace of God that covered his worst sins to inspire him to pursue the lost and share the good news of Jesus. 

How many times did Paul look in the mirror and see glimpses of Saul when Satan whispered in his ear? Satan knows our weaknesses. Still, Paul persevered for all of his days. He.. like us... had good days an bad days. 

Imagine Stephen running to Paul with open arms to hug him and welcome him home. Both, good and faithful servants. Wow. I love that image. 

Mountain assignments come and go. Our God is faithful.  In truth... no one does it alone. It is only by the power of Christ in us that giants fall, mountains more, Red Seas part and lives are profoundly changed after the pause at the foot of the cross. 

Paul and Stephen's story was not an instant miracle; God runs on his own clock. 

Today, I will choose to be grateful for "mountain assignments". 

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