Mountains in the Desert

“As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, from this time forth and forevermore. I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands. I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust.  Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!” “A king will reign in righteousnesslike a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.” Psalm 125:2; 143:5,6,8,10; Isaiah 32:1,2

I watch the early sun blush the Santa Rosa Mountains with pink, then swath on more light. Palm Springs is surrounded by the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa ranges, rocky promontories rising almost unnaturally out of the flat desert. The areas left to nature’s dirth of rain are a colorless tan-gray, while those irrigated are lush green decorated with regal palms and vibrant flowers.

Wondering at these mountains, rising like so many obstacles in our otherwise (seemingly) smooth lives, I ponder what they teach us. At times, they block a more distant view, yet offer beauty in themselves; I want to see beyond my obstacles and interruptions, know the end result, and ofttimes the Lord means for me to trust Him in my limited vision, rejoice in my challenges and unknowns and walk by faith. They also shield this area from coastal wind and rain (and fire), yet in this buffering leave the area arid; when my days are guarded, comfortable, and safe, they can also become dry, forcing me to go deep for true nourishment, living water. And the beauty… the majesty of mountains always causes me to look up, to behold facets of stone and light that reflect the glory of their Maker, just as immovable difficulties in my days urge me to look up, to trace God’s grace and beauty therein, to pray through the whats and hows and Who behind them.

Thank You, Lord, for having purpose in all Your creation, for mountains that loom in my life and turn me to You. Sharpen my senses to take in all You have for me; make my spirit teachable, my soul dependent.

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