…truly I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed,
you shall say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it shall move;
and nothing shall be impossible to you.”
It was an unexpected vacation of sorts, a rare thing for us. A weekend opened up, and we were relieved of our home and church duties just long enough to squeeze in a three-day trip to the coast. We jumped at the chance to see the ocean again.
We had to drive four hundred and eighty miles to our destination, and we soon settled in for the long haul. My husband set the car’s cruise control on the speed limit, and I cozied into my seat with some music and a bag of Fritos. It had been a decade since we had driven the Columbia Gorge, but it was familiar territory, since we had family living near the coast. The landscape had not changed much along the way.
Only two things marred the day: our sour attitudes starting out and the smoke from area fires that permeated everything. The pressure of trying to get everything ready on such short notice and without much sleep had left us both cranky. It didn’t help our moods that the first part of the trip was accompanied by dense smoke from a large wildfire. The whole world seemed to be on fire somewhere near the Blue Mountains, although we never actually saw flames. A stranglehold of gloom enveloped us as we drove on in irritable silence. The air cleared a bit along the Columbia, but a haze began again as we neared Hood River.
We had forgotten about the mountain. My husband saw it first, of course, because he had his eyes on the road. Then I saw it, too. Mount Hood, magnificent as always, rose up out of the haze as if it were too grand to be found wallowing in the lowlands with mortals like us. I had forgotten how impressive it is.
No matter how many times I travel that road, I always forget to look for it. It surprises me every time. Each time it emerges out of the valley just when I have traveled so long along the bottom land I forget it’s there.
Each time it reminds me that surprises do still happen; that God doesn’t have a jaded heart like I do; that He can place mountains where they don’t belong and give a thrill to this poor old valley-dweller.
A few years back, I had another reminder of that. Someone very important to us invited God into her life; someone who has been on our prayer list for many years. We had prayed for her so many times it became a familiar road, well-traversed and worn down in places. The choking smoke of unseen daily fires kept a dreary haze over the area and limited our vision. Still we continued on, praying routinely, increasingly sporadically, often faithlessly, more often than not with a sour and unbelieving attitude.
Then one day we turned a corner and came unexpectedly upon the majesty of God. Out of the haze of our valley we were surprised by the amazing grace of the Savior. True to His word, He took our tiny mustard seed of faith and moved a mountain for us. Right in front of our eyes arose a splendid, lovely, breath-taking spire of faith reaching toward heaven out of the heart of a young woman. The beauty of it caught us unawares and took our breath away.
How could I have forgotten? When will I ever learn? The next time I travel the Gorge, I will be surprised by Mount Hood. The next time God answers a prayer, I will be as amazed as if I had never seen such a thing before. Every time I forget the power, the glory, and the faithfulness of our God. And still for us, because of His great love, He moves the mountain.
Next week: A very special guest blog by Samantha Thorson. We are honored to have Samantha join us next week. If you enjoyed “Never Underestimate Jesus,” stop by and meet the lovely young woman featured in this post. She is now serving God in ministry and will be sharing with us. Expect to be blessed and challenged by her devotion to Christ and her thirst for the deep things of God.