My husband and I decided this would be a good year to take our girls snow skiing. They are now 11, 9, and 7 years old. I wanted to wait until they were old enough to dress themselves, keep up with their snow gear, and not whine when they got cold (2/3 isn't bad).
We live nine hours from our ski destination. As we got closer, the younger two girls began to discuss the mountains. The last time they were in the mountains, they were 3 years old and 6 months respectively. By their questions and comments, they obviously didn't remember their trip. When we were driving through the foot hills, M, the youngest, kept asking, "Are those mountains?" We kept repeating, "No, not yet." They couldn't understand the concepts of snow on the mountains, going further up the mountain to ski, and how there could be a town on a mountain.
As we ascended up the winding, steep roads of the "real mountain," the girls began to "ooh and aah." The mountain amazed the girls. They began to understand what we told them about the mountain. They experienced the mountain for themselves.
The road trip into the mountains reminded me of how we experience God.
1. Understand God's existence.
Even at a young age, I began to understand God's existence by hearing the stories of the Bible, God's message to us. God wants us to know Him. To relate it to our trip, it would be like I got into the car and began driving closer to the mountain (God) with every new understanding of Him through the Bible. Also, we could have never taken the girls to the mountain. That wouldn't change the fact that the mountain exists. Likewise, just because people deny God's existence, doesn't mean there is no God.
2. Understand God's awesomeness.
With the process of learning more about God, you realize the majesty of God. The closer we drove to the mountains, the more aware the girls became of the mountain's majesty. They also realized how small they are compared to the awesome mountain. Like the mountains, the further away you are from God, the smaller, less powerful He seems. You will never understand God's power if you don't "drive towards the mountain." Remember God provided you the road map (the Bible) and a navigator (the Holy Spirit, the very person of God) to explain the map.
3. Understand God's invitation.
God wants you to experience His life changing power. He invites you to "the mountain." How silly would it have been to drive to the foot of the mountain and tell the girls, "Well, we are here." If we stayed at the bottom, we never would have experienced the mountain. Likewise, God doesn't force you to accept Him (drive up the mountain). He lovingly invites you into a permanent friendship with Him. He provided a way "up the mountain" through Jesus. Jesus paid the penalty for your sin so you can stand before a perfect God (experience the mountain). He wants you to accept His invitation if you haven't already. http://stacyneus.blogspot.com/2012/04/need-hope.html
And the final challenge for those who live on the mountain (follower of Jesus):
**Don't keep"the mountain" a secret!
Romans 10:14-15 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”
I've told several people about our trip and the mountain. We've invited others to join us next time. When is the last time you invited others into the presence of God? Maybe they need a "road map" or a friend to explain the plan. Go with the Good News!
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