Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mountaintops in Perspecitve -- Hope Chronicles 51

The last few weeks, my She Speaks prep has consumed my time and energy. As I write that, I am struck by the thought, "When have you let God consume so much of your time and energy?" Hopefully, it was for God's glory, but so much time an energy went into the book proposal and the talks and the packing and the fretting over being liked or not liked while I was there, . . . . Now, I am post She Speaks by four days.

In my InterVarsity Christian Fellowship days, I often found there to be an immediate slump after big events. I would be tired and grouchy and irritable. While I admit, I'm starting to have a bit of a slump (I'm a bit on the touchy side today), there was none of the immediate, overwhelming deflation that I have previously encountered. I'm not sure why that is and it isn't that God didn't meet me in those earlier events. I believe He did.

But I experienced something profound this past weekend -- God utterly delighting over me. I know He probably always has, but still it was so sweet . . . . Part of me didn't want the conference to end. I half thought moving to NC might not be so bad or maybe I could join some of my bloggy friends in their neck of the woods. But then I would miss my friends and church here.

She Speaks was a mountaintop experience. But I have learned that most of us do not live on "mountaintops." While those times are refreshing and wonderful, most of us are called to live out our walk in the daily things of life: mowing the grass, interacting with coworkers, doing the laundry, making dinner, running errands, . . . . These things may make us say, "Can't the mountaintop experience go on forever?"

Scripture tells us that Moses met with God as a man meets with a friend. Yet, even Moses had to come down from the mountaintop and he was greeted with God's Chosen People dancing around an idol and grumbling about how much better life back in Egypt was. (They were a thankless lot!)

And then there is Elijah. 1 Kings 18 and 19 Elijah sees God work in mighty ways. But he freaks when the king's wife takes a bounty out on his head. (Okay, I might have been worried too.) He flees and God eventually leads Him to a cave on a mountain. He actually whines (in my opinion) to God. My version: "I've done all this for you and they've killed all these people and I am the only one left. Did you hear me? Now they are going to kill me!"

God does not get into a test of wills with Elijah. Rather, God tells him to "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by." There is a great wind that shattered rocks, an earthquake, and a fire. But God is not in any of these. But then there is a gentle whisper and Elijah stands at the mouth of the cave and God gives him a glimpse of Himself.

And God asks again, "Elijah, what are you doing here?"

Elijah repeats the litany.

God responds, "Go back the way you came." (Get back to day to day life). He goes on to promise that he is sending Elijah a partner and that Elijah is not alone -- there are 7,000 who still worship God.

So, post She Speaks means getting back to day to day life.

But it also means remembering all that God did there. Just as God reminded Elijah of the 7,000, I am praying He will continue to remind me of all that I learned and experienced and the fellowship I experienced. I've been making a list. It's now 5 journal pages with bullets to help remind me when things get tough.

Like Moses and Elijah, most of us are not meant to live on mountaintops. But we are called to remember them. And through remembering them we can be strengthened in the day to day life and even in the valleys. It is in remembering that we often find that glorious thing called hope.

If you went to She Speaks or even if you didn't, what is one strengthening memory you have? Please leave it here in the comment section or a link to the story on your site. I look forward to hearing how God uses the mountaintops to prepare you for day to day life.

Free Image Hosting


Linda said...

Hi, Amy. I sat beside you at dinner Saturday night, I think. I just wanted to say I enjoyed meeting you although we didn't talk much. I was also there (breakfast) when someone (editor) encouraged you to submit. What a great moment! I witnessed it!

Lelia Chealey said...

I would have to say my strengthening moment was in the message Renee Swope shared on Saturday night and Lysa's on Friday night. Both great and so applicable for my life.
Tough season right now, but I know God is worth every breath of pain.
love you friend!

Lisa said...

Love this perspective, Amy. Great thoughts, and thanks for sharing them.

I just saw where you posted the comment about the book being really visible at B&N. Friend, that thrills me! Thank you for sharing that with me. Let's pray together that someone who needs the truth in it will be compelled to pick it up. God has it there for a reason.

Back to the post -- I hear your heart. Be encouraged, Amy. God never takes His eyes off of you, for one moment.

Lisa :)

Heather said...

I think one of my most strengthening moments was when I was at School of Leadership training at Cedar Campus. I had come off of a year filled with personal sin... yet God cared enough to provide me with the funds to go, through someone else, to the exact penny (and they didn't know how much I needed)... and He met with me there and showed me how to get out of this life of sin and rejection of Him. It was an incredible month of healing and convicting and repentance and forgiveness.

yes, I did have to go home. I did have to break off a relationship. I did have to do hard work. I did have to go back to everyday life. But I did so with a new reminder that God was with me every step of the way.

As a side note Amy, I think I have started a series like your Hope Chronicles on my blog. Just did the first one tonight. I sited you in my post at the bottom, with a link. Hope you get to pop over and enjoy... and would love any feed back you have!
Love you,

ThreeGirlyGirls said...

WoW! I wrote about this the other day for my post for today!! My little world has been turned upside down since I've been home from She Speaks. And I was JUST reading about that part with Moses this morning in my quiet time!!

I was a mountaintop experience and it's REALLY hard to come back down to the valley. But it's in the valley that the real work begins!

tiggerdaisy said...

My strengthening moment was when God healed me of Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)--that means that I had many cysts all over my ovaries. So much so that I was unable to really release any eggs. The doctors told me that I would never have children, or if I did, it would be hard and I would definitely have to be under a specialist's care to conceive...and even then it would be doubtful.

But, within just two short of months of being prayed for (and I wasn't under a doctor's care), God healed me. God HEALED me! And I have a beautiful baby girl to show God's blessing! Whose report do I believe? God's of course!

God is awesome! He showed me His amazing power and goodness. To God be the glory!

I call these strengthening moments "spiritual markers." We have to remember these times so that we never forget where God has taken us and where He has brought us.

Thanks for sharing this word today, Amy!

Prayers and Blessings!

Laura said...

I enjoyed meeting you at SheSpeaks, and wish we got to talk a little! I have been falling in that slump a little too. I think you are right, it is probably a natural thing, but your words encouraged me. Renee's talk was definitely a moment that spoke to me during the event.
Coming down from the mountain, kicking and screaming the whole way,

Heather@Mommymonk said...

Last year, Lysa gave us little bookmarks that contained the words from her opening talk. She shared that it wasn't about perfection, but personal growth. Not about exposure, but experiencing God, not opportunities, but obedience. Not hoarding, but helping. Not comfort, but calling. Not glory, but all about God. I still keep that in my Bible and it keeps my focus straight.