Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Montana Mountains...and Faith the Size of a Mustard Seed Can Move Them?

Facing fears in the journey of life. It's nothing new to me to find fear surfacing, and especially in this wild land called Montana. I am familiar with the strangle-hold and tripping power of fear. I've had run-ins with that evil one more often than I care to recount. Even thinking of past fears brings fear to the surface.

Since I am a woman of faith. One who speaks of God, and His power, of Jesus and His presence living inside of us when we ask Him to wash us clean from our is hard to reconcile these two realities. A woman of faith who experiences fear.

On Saturday, I made my husband turn around instead of going around this corner: (it looked WORSE in person, trust me!)
The road seemingly continued to narrow with the "look-out-below!" getting deeper and having rolled in a car once when I was a passenger while we were going around an outer curve, I simply didn't want to feel the fear. We were looking for a lake, the road was going on forever and we wondered if we had already seen it in the pond we had just passed since we were going UP. (And who thinks a lake might be UP a mountain?) So he graciously pulled the truck into the expanded area on the left of the photo and I got out to take pictures. Soon a little truck came around this corner and slowed as I approached to talk to me. "YES there is a lake, it's beautiful... just spittin' distance are almost there! GO!"

I considered walking up for a brief second. Really I did! But I got in, them having come around the curve giving me courage. It really was no big deal, but my mind...

Here is what we would have missed due to my fear: (I am learning that there is grace for my fear)
You see, I used to think God would be severely irritated with me for not honoring Him with faith enough to overcome my fears. I used to think He had a short fuse; that He had little patience. (EVEN THOUGH I read love is is kind...and God is love.....) But He is enabling me to experience his loving kindness, tenderness and patience in facing my fears with such grace. My husband was understanding and not frustrated with me. The couple came at just the right time to encourage me on up. And the best was yet to come.

Our plan for the next day was to go to Red Lodge and visit my cousin. I had driven from MN to Red Lodge when I was 16 years old with my younger sister and my cousin of the same age as me. I had experienced such anxiety driving up the narrow mountain road with no guard-rail and a trail of (I imagined) irritated drivers behind me anxious for this rookie to get out of the way, that I acquired hives upon my return from the trip. Stress causes them the Doctor said. 

Just thinking of that experience on the way down this time made me feel anxious and feel short of breath! Little did I know that my cousin, who once had worked at the Red Lodge ski area had been working on the top of Beartooth Pass for the greater part of 30 years and would invite us to ride up that pass with him and his wife. 

I thought, "how bad could it be? He commuted up there daily after all..." 
And then when I saw the road up. And how high it was. And how scary it looked. I sucked it up as best as I could. It helped immensely that I was in the back seat with his wife and my experienced cousin was driving (I kept reminding myself of that fact). My husband agrees that had he been driving, I would have made him turn around. (and he said he was proud of me when we got down, that I had done very well. :))

What I would have missed had I let fear dominate. But by the grace of God I didn't. You see, my cousin was gracious with me too, and his wife a comfort. We talked about fears and fears being from past experiences, and fears being from becoming a mother and not wanting to leave this earth so we are the caretakers of our babies. And do you know what is really cool? The way down was not nearly as difficult as the way up for me! Having gone up, having faced the fear with grace, I had more confidence going down. I could look at it differently. Plus I felt on top of the world at 11,000 feet! (and God knows how much I love the sky!)

So a woman of faith who has fears finds grace in a God who is loving and patient and who lovingly orchestrates opportunities to show her that very thing.

Now I want to shout it from the mountain, I'm not the same as I used to be....

and I will continue to wonder about the power of faith and how little I must have if it only takes a teeny amount to move one of these Magnificent Monuments of God's Might.
 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, 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


Jedidja said...

Wow, I could be you. I suffer from vertigo and am glad I did not live in a desert country with mountains and valleys. Your spiritual lesson is instructive. I love you biblical comparisons. And what an incredibly beautiful pictures. Have a fine day! ( here it is: 11:45)

The Blessed Seed said...

what an incredibly beautiful pictures. Have a fine day!Thank you.