Trembling at the Foot of the Mountain

From my 2010 journal. I realized today that I’m doubting my worth in Christ. I continually question whether or not I’m doing enough to please God. Why is it such a hard thing to believe? I’ve never doubted His love for me. Perhaps that’s because I felt my parents’ love. I do feel accepted by God. It’s not that.  Perhaps my feelings are born out of my childhood perception that God is watching: you better behave. I sense a fearsome reverence that doesn’t allow me to get too close.

mountainVisual:  I am the Israelite at the foot of the mountain who is forbidden from getting too close to the mountain. I’m never Moses and Joshua who climb the mountain and see God face-to-face. I stand at the foot and tremble at the smoke. Only the chosen one is permitted on the mountain. (The funny thing is, Moses had nothing to do with God choosing him. And besides that, he had a flawed character.)

In my visual, I realize that I want to be chosen.

As I surrender my feelings to God, I see myself as a little child, hanging onto the rope barrier at the foot of the mountain. The grownups have all returned to the camp to party, but I want to be close to God.

I see Jesus approach me from the mountain. He picks me up and carries me up the side of the mountain away from the noise of the camp, away from the revelry and the debauchery and sin. It’s quiet up here, silent and peaceful. And Jesus allays my fears that my parents will worry about my being gone.

Soon the sun begins to set and I shiver in the cold. He builds a fire and gives me a cloak for warmth as we sit down for an intimate conversation. In the end I understand that though I might not be chosen for Moses’ job or role,  I was chosen because “I sought the Lord and He heard me” (Ps. 34:4).

Now when the mountain trembles, I feel safe. Jesus will protect me. I’m His child. And He promises that He will “never leave me or forsake me.” He will not leave me on this mountainside by myself. When I pray to Him, He’s not far away anymore. He’s right there, close and intimate. We’re just having a conversation.

Does God feel far away to you? Or near?

3 thoughts on “Trembling at the Foot of the Mountain

  1. What a lovely visual! I can so feel your little girl self longing for closeness with God, and I’m glad He answered your longing. God used to feel far away, but not any more. Under His Wing will I abide!

    Funny thing: I never wanted to be Moses. He had to HIKE up that mountain to get to the Lord, then sit in the smoke and cloud (that might have been cold). I wonder if the Lord fed him, or the smell of the cooking fires rose to them and Moses was hungry? Yes, he knew the perfection that God wanted, I think he got the vision, but he was human and was vastly disappointed (or threw a tantrum?) when he saw the camp sinning, and God had to write those tablets all over again. Something triggered Moses, but the Lord managed to calm him down, and the second time, Moses hiked back down the mountain, walked into his still-sinning camp, and shared what God wanted with them. He definitely had a hard job, and he certainly needed those close times with the Lord. (still glad I didn’t have to hike up that mountain!)


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