“For the mountains may depart
and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
This weekend, I had the great joy of having one of my dearest friends come to Grenoble. We were both desperate to escape into the mountains. I had planned a perfect hike. There was a bus from Grenoble that would take us to the trail head, we had fresh baguette sandwiches packed (I was trying to give her an authentic French experience) and we knew we would have about five hours until we needed to catch the bus home. We made it to the top, enjoyed our sandwiches, and then made our way back to the trailhead with an extra hour to spare. We decided to go to a local café while we waited for the bus (welcome to France, where even on the mountainside, they will serve you coffee and pastries).
We sat, and leisurely enjoyed our coffees when all of the sudden a bus went zooming down the mountain road. I don’t know the bus system well, but I did know that we were in a rural area that was only serviced by one bus, which comes once every four hours. I assured my friend that there was no way that could have been our bus, but I decided to check the schedule online, just to be sure. As it turns out, I had originally checked the schedule for the wrong day, and we had in fact missed our bus home. So, we found ourselves slightly trapped in a village in the alps (add that to the list of things I would never say).
I called my friends who said we had two options of getting home; wait for the bus, or hitchhike. The next bus was not going to be for another four hours, and I have zero French hitchhiking vocabulary.
We opted for a third–we walked.
Our mountain café was only four and a half miles from my house, and I knew that we were bound to hit some sort of public transportation before that. This particular road was not really designed for walkers. It was a winding mountain road that wove through small French mountain villages. As we dodged cars zooming up to their own adventures, we were able to catch up on where life was taking us, admire French architecture, and marvel at God’s creation in a way that we would not have been able to had we taken the bus. It was an unexpected adventure, but I wouldn’t have traded those miles for anything.
Sometimes, God calls us to wait. But sometimes, He is calling us to move. I have found I opt to wait even if I feel like the Lord is calling me to move. We could have waited for the bus, and stayed in the comfort of our mountainside café. We chose to go. And in our going, we had a new adventure, and hours of laughter. Sometimes, God calls us to go.
The going is scary. It would have been safer for us to wait for the bus. The going is unknown. But the going is such an amazing adventure of trust and dependency.
I was recently reminded of the story of Moses. His is by far one of my favorite Biblical stories. In Exodus 3, God calls Moses to go. If I were Moses I would have thought my time of “going” was over. He had escaped Egypt, he had settled in Midian, and then God comes to him and says that it is time to go. Not only just go anywhere, but going to the land from where he had escaped. Moses was resistant to the going, which is often how I find myself. I relate to Moses. Normally, I am much more keen to wait for the bus, opposed to walking down off the mountain.
Moses argues with God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11). Often I have asked myself this question, “who am I that I should go?” There must be someone more equipped, knowledgeable, funnier, more creative, etc. And plus, there is a sort of familiarity and comfort found sitting on the mountain. In the Bible, the mountains are often seen as a place to go to be close to God. The valley, the road off of the mountain, not so much. The Lord quickly shuts down Moses’ worries and self-doubt, “But I will be with you, and this shall be a sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain” (Exodus 3:12). He does not send us off of the mountain alone. In our going, He will go with us, and He will equip us for the journey ahead. In Matthew 28, Jesus tells the disciples to go, the time of waiting has come to an end. But again, He sends them out with the reminder that He will go with them (Matthew 28:20). In our going, no matter how scary, no matter the safety that we are leaving behind, He is going with us. God went with Moses, with the disciples, and He will go with each of us; no matter where the road down from the mountain takes us.
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