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345. Celebrating God’s Grace, Mountain-Moving Faith

By julie

What is a mountain? A problem larger than ourselves, a seemingly insurmountable obstacle that makes us aware of our inability.   Jesus used the mountain as a metaphor for the difficulties we will face in this life, to prove that nothing was too big for God to handle.    Be encouraged in your life today through listening as Robin Kirby Gatto shares about her own mountain and God’s Words of healing.   *****  

Jesus Christ explains in the parable about the mountain, that we will have difficulties in this life, which will challenge our faith.

22” And Jesus, replying, said to them, Have faith in God [constantly]. 23 Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him. 24 For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].” Mark 11:22-24 AMPC

What is a mountain? A problem larger than ourselves, a seemingly insurmountable obstacle that makes us aware of our inability. Jesus used the mountain as a metaphor for the difficulties we will face in this life, to prove that nothing was too big for God to handle.

Mountain climbers train for months to get to the highest mountain peaks. It requires strength and cardiovascular conditioning. Likewise, overcoming our difficulties requires the strength of God’s Word, which stirs our hearts with faith. This is a picture of grace.

The Greek word mountain comes from is óros pronounced or’-os and means, “to rise or rear, a mountain, mount, and hill.”[1] The mountain represents what the soul wrestles with, a person’s inner struggles, that which rises against the Word of Truth.

I remember in my late twenties and early thirties how insecure I felt. I became a single mother in the fall of 1997, to one-year-old and six-year-old boys. Up to this point, I really hadn’t known any single mothers. There were no divorced individuals in my family; I was the first one.

Parenting my young boys, as well as finishing my master’s degree was top on my list. I received the news of the divorce the week before my first-semester mid-terms and had difficulty studying. The stress of it all, as well as the inability to cope, led me to seek professional help, and see a psychiatrist. I was put on antidepressants and in the meantime got counseling, so that I could gain my footing again, having had the carpet pulled from under my feet.

Prior to the divorce, everything had been planned. We put a contract on my dream home and were to move in a few months. I would finish my master’s degree at the University of Alabama and commute for the last year of my degree. Then I would have it made, being a social worker, my husband a doctor, and having two amazing sons. Who could ask for more?

It seemed I had life all planned out until the mountain of divorce rose in my face, the unexpected life crisis that would send my world spiraling. Like an adventurist training to climb to the highest peak, I had to get into the Word of God to receive the strength to conquer the mountain that was in the way of me moving forward in life.

Having been a social worker, I did what I knew, and found support groups in which other divorced single parents were facing their own mountain. I went to one group on Sunday mornings at a Baptist church, and another one each Tuesday evening at a Catholic church. Within those support groups, I came to know two women, with whom I grew close.

They invited me to a mom’s night out, at which I was offered a glass of wine. I wasn’t a drinker but thought it might be enjoyable to have a glass of wine and blow off some steam. Before I knew it, one glass of wine turned into another glass, and so forth. Weeks turned into months and instead of conquering my mountain, I found myself in the mire of alcoholism at the foot of the mountain.

Alcoholism was pain medicine for my soul. I longed to forget my mountain was there. Inept at being a successful single mother, I hadn’t realized that what I was experiencing at the base of the mountain, was merely a “learning curve.” I graduated with honors from high school, as well as with my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work, so you can imagine how hard it was for me to believe that I had hit a learning curve in life.

The learning curve means “the rate of a person’s progress at gaining a new skill.”[2]

I had difficulty grasping what my new world would look like. Deep fog surrounded me at the mountain base, and I sat there fearing it as if it could hurt me. I could barely see my hand in front of my face. It felt impossible to begin the climb, much less conquer. The word failure loomed within the thick fog, bathing my self-image in negative messages, which led to a nervous breakdown.

In time, I surrendered to God, and He showed me that my real issue was that I didn’t trust Him. Trust is the spark to faith. I knew that as I continued to submit my life to God, no matter how messed up I was, He would stir me with hope and strengthen my faith. I continued going to church and seeking the Lord, the fog lifted a little. I had somewhat of a routine and finished my master’s degree, went to work, and took care of my sons. Things begin to get a little normal and bit by bit, I had the ability to cope and recreate a new world in which I was climbing my mountain. The higher I went, made it seem smaller.

Jesus tells us in Mark 11 to speak to our mountain. Speak in Greek is épō pronounced ep’-o meaning, “to speak or say (by word or writing); answer, bid, bring word, call, command, grant, say, and tell.”[3] We speak the Word of God to every obstacle in our life, by opening our mouth or writing it down.

Daily devotional journals helped me put pen to paper, as my heart wrote what I couldn’t put into words. The grime upon my soul, washed away a little at a time, as I read the scripture for the day, and wrote from my inner man. Slowly but surely, I was succeeding, and the learning curve I had, began to fade away. No longer at the base of the mountain but halfway up, I kept my eyes on scaling its peak.

Speaking to the mountain represents the faith in the Word of truth within our inner man that is larger than any obstacle in our lives. Jesus taught the disciples that anything was possible to the person who believes. The Greek word for faith is pístis pronounced pis’-tis meaning, “persuasion, assurance, believe, belief and faith.”[4] Our faith turns into an invisible mountain upon which we scale, as we keep our eyes on the Kingdom of God.

It’s not God that has to be persuaded of our victory, because He already knows the end from the beginning and the power of His Word. He sent Jesus Christ, to the earth to tell all who would hear about the Kingdom of Heaven. That was the message Jesus brought to this world, which was at the bottom of faith’s invisible mountain, that’s peak is hidden above the clouds. Those who would hear and be willing to perceive that there was something greater than this world offered, were given the skill of the Word of Truth to scale the invisible mountain of faith to heaven’s blessings, knowing the Father’s will and praying it to be made known in the earth.

This was where I had come. The obstacle that had been before me, turned into my opportunity to go higher than I ever could have before. Sometimes the obstacles are what lend to our increased faith, persuaded that no matter how bad the circumstances look, God is greater. This is Grace!

Shortly after the divorce, the boys and I were in the car as I was doing a Saturday run to get donuts. While out and about I was stopped at a red light in front of this mountain in Pelham, Alabama. God then spoke to my heart and said “Robin, speak to that mountain and tell it to be cast into the sea.” Without a moment to think, I blurted out, “Mountain be uprooted and cast into the sea, in Jesus’ Name.” I could hear my two sons giggle in the back seat.

Two years later, on top of the small mountain was a bulldozer, bit by bit digging into it. Within a few months, that mountain was gone and is where Home Depot now sits today. Even more amazing is the name of the street that runs through that place where the mountain was removed, which is WORD STREET.

Similarly, the mountain of enormous human obstacles before me slowly became a plane, as the Word of truth rose within my heart as an invisible mountain of faith, giving me the ability to hope again, and trust God. I was willing to risk loving again and consider marrying. It was then that God led me down a certain path, in which I met my husband Rich, whom I wed in 2001. He was the man of my dreams! I had reached the peak of heaven’s plan, God’s plan, and discovered it, as He laid it forth in my life, drawing me down a road I wouldn’t have known. I have been happier than ever and couldn’t have thanked God enough for leading me up the mountain that at first seem so formidable.

Time healed the wounds with God’s Word, giving me the strength to believe in the impossible. Moreover, my ex-husband and I are good friends, and Rich and I have had coffee with him and his wife. My boys have a great relationship with their dad. We’re a unique family where everyone has a gift to help one another out.

The mountain of human obstacles inside of my soul was that I would never be whole again or know “normal,” much less be happy. God’s grace speaks to the mountain in everyone’s life and causes faith to arise when there’s a need. Many times, we run ahead of God, before we realize our needs.

I needed to know I could receive help and feel love, not by a man but by God. As I came to know God’s love, I became refreshed and renewed.

What mountain of human obstacles do you face? Where do you need faith to arise? Join me on this journey of Mountain Moving Faith, as God unfolds scripture about the power of His grace.

 

[1] Strong J. (1890) Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Abingdon Press Greek word # 3735 “mountain”

[2] “Learning-curve” Oxford University Press. The Oxford American College Dictionary. Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2002

 

[3] Strong J. (1890) Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Abingdon Press Greek word # 2036 “speak”

[4] Strong J. (1890) Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Abingdon Press Greek word # 4102 “faith”