Mountain or Molehill?

I love how eight year olds think they have it all figured out. I was watching my son Noah and his best bud Josh practice their scooter jumps on a DIY ramp they proudly made out of some scraps of wood. It couldn’t have been more than a half a foot high but determination in their eyes and the sense of accomplishment they got every time they successfully jumped off their mini ramp was quite amusing. …”Dude! Did you see that?!” Before that, they were climbing a tree in the backyard. From listening to them talk about it you’d think they were in the Amazon swinging from tree to tree hundreds of feet off the ground when in reality it was more like a 3 foot sycamore.

Perception is reality. In their own eyes these kids accomplished the impossible but I had a front row seat. My perspective was different. I was looking at the whole picture. They were hopping over a quintessential molehill while I wondered what kind of mountains they would face in their futures.

I was so struck by the parallel in my own life. Sometimes, I look at the reality of the moment and see it as an insurmountable mountain, yet from the Almighty’s perspective my molehill is indeed…well, a molehill. Why is it so hard to put things in perspective? Maybe it’s because I don’t have the whole picture. Maybe my perspective is skewed. Maybe I’m on the inside looking in. It’s hard to be in two places at once. I can’t see the whole picture from where I’m standing. I can’t see the entire universe from my fixed location on my front porch. It’s just not possible. GOD however, He stands outside my reality and chuckles as I try to conquer my mountains…ahem, molehills.

I have what looks like a mountain standing in front of me today. Unlike the mountains of my childhood, this one looks far more threatening. It seems to be towering over me. I know there is no way I can conquer this one. The thinking side of me knows that God sees my mountain for the molehill it really is, that His perspective is better than mine. That He is sovereign and that He never loses control. I know that He is right and just in whatever He chooses to do about my molehill, even if it isn’t what I want. But there’s a heart part of me and it is indignant. I want God to move my mountain, or at least help me conquer it. ”Why haven’t you done my will God!” “WHY!?!?” The heart part of me feels discouraged and disappointed. It is frustrated because I know I am absolutely helpless and can do nothing to move this mountain. I feel like the psalmist as I look up at my mountain and really do wonder, “where will my help come from?”

Today I heard someone say that we are to ask boldly and surrender completely. Seems like such a contradiction. I can feel free to approach the throne of grace and make my requests known to God. I can be bold and He won’t hold it against me. And on the other hand I need to acknowledge that God is sovereign. I need to lay my will aside. How do those two work together? How can you ask boldly and surrender completely? Can that even be done?

Like a gentle father God reminded me that not only can it but it has. …”father…take this cup away…but not my will but yours”…what a beautiful reminder that in the thoughts of God we can ask boldly and surrender at the same time. Jesus in the garden didn’t make sense to me. How could it? He really did have a mountain before him. The likes if which no one in history ever has or ever will face. But it made sense to God because He saw the bigger picture.

What will I do about this mountain? Experience has taught me that yelling at it and kicking it will only leave me bruised up. I think I need to try something different. I don’t want to give up control but let’s face it folks, I never had it to begin with.

Even though it goes against everything I want, I have to change my approach.
Like the psalmist, I have to speak to my soul…”Why are you downcast oh my soul…put your hope in God.” I have to try to change my perspective and ask for the grace to see my molehill for what it really is. …”in this world you will have trouble but take heart because I have overcome the world!” I will ask boldly…”let us approach the throne of grace with confidence” and “in every situation…make your requests known to God”.

Sounds doable so far. I can handle that I think.  But there’s one last thing I have to do and that’s the hardest. That’s the one I struggle with the most because that’s the one that makes no promises of me getting my way. It’s not that I don’t believe God can move my mountain. He can. But what if He won’t? Can I trust that He knows best? That His will for me is good? That even if I don’t see the benefits on this side of heaven, it the eternal scheme of things, this will have been for my good? I have to surrender. I have to “trust in the lord your God and lean not on your own understanding” and like Jesus, I have to be willing to lay my will aside…”father…not my will but yours be done.”

By Denise Cruz

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