“On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.
And he will swallow up on this mountain
the covering that is cast over all peoples,
the veil that is spread over all nations.
He will swallow up death forever;
and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken.
It will be said on that day,
‘Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.
This is the Lord; we have waited for him;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.’
For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain.” Isaiah 25:6-10
Mountains lift our eyes. Mountains speak of grandeur, loftiness, solid strength, agelessness. Mountains remind us of the long view, the high view, the distances of space and years, that what is now is only a blip on the screen of the whole of history and life. God understands when we are nestled, even stuck, in the lowlands, shrouded in a veil of human limitation, whether physical or emotional, and His word is a clarion call of hope for the one day that will surely be ours.
Some days it feels as though we are covered, entangled in a web of uncertainty and limitation from which we cannot escape, or to which we see no end. Death has cast its pall, and the dark valley of grief’s shadow cannot be avoided, must be traveled. Disappointment and loss leave us hungry, longing, unsatisfied. Permanent change leaves us confused, insecure, unsure of how to proceed. And into this circumstantial reproach God brings the promise of rich fare to senses and heart, the exchange of heaviness for new garments of rejoicing. He will swallow the shroud that weighs heavy on our souls, to vanquish forever all that leaves us sad, unfulfilled, incomplete. His hand will sweep away the temporal and usher in the glorious eternal for which we were made. We who know Him have great cause for rejoicing! (Ecclesiastes 3:11; Isaiah 61:3; Revelation 21:1-5,10-11,22-27)
When malaise, sorrow, or fatigue overwhelm, would we lift our faces to the mountain of hope, and drink in all the promises encompassed in our salvation?
“I’m pressing on the upward way,
New heights I’m gaining every day;
Still praying as I’m onward bound,
‘Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.’
My heart has no desire to stay
Where doubts arise and fears dismay;
Though some may dwell where those abound,
My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.
Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
By faith, on Heaven’s tableland,
A higher plane than I have found;
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.” ~Johnson Oatman, Jr (1856-1922)
Beautiful Savior, make me stalwart in the knowledge that You are saving presently, in the middle of tears and human strife. Your sure and forever promises are already accomplished in Your economy and guaranteed by Your pledge. Fix my heart in Your heights, and fill me with glad hope in the waiting, certain of the glory that is and will be Yours forever. (Ephesians 1:14)