Lately my heart has been dazzled by the promises of God. He has given me many experiences in the last month that have caught my heart up in such rejoicing, amazed at all that the Father lavishes on His children. Weddings, going away festivities, sweet times in fellowship and worship, a writing conference full of break through, restful times in His creation, trip to Shasta with a whole crew of individuals seeking the heart of God, just about to finish college, financial provision…
What could be better?
That is what I started asking myself a week ago when the going away party that my dear friends had thrown me was winding down and I was in the kitchen mulling over the sweetest of nights...
The idea was birthed a few months ago, and all my heart wanted was to come together to pray and worship with those that I have built relationships with during these last three years before I left Corvallis to go onto what lies ahead in the next year of life. A few of my friends live in the most amazing home that they call “The Escape” and I have thoroughly enjoyed many afternoons and evenings spent there enjoying their company and delighting in our King together. There couldn’t have been a better location for this sweet celebration of sorts to take place.
As people began pouring into the sun-soaked backyard at the Escape, my heart began to be filled with joy and excitement because I had a connection with everyone who came in some way, shape or form and for those of you who know me, I value connection SO MUCH in relationships! I was overwhelmed when I began to realize that I couldn’t necessarily have a “deep” conversation with everyone who had come, but still rejoiced at the fact that they were present and that we got to come together in this night of honor and worship.
My best friend, Marie and I led worship through different songs that we love, and a few that I’ve written woven within. These were songs that have been some of my anthems this year… Nothing I hold onto, No Longer Slaves, Alabaster… Ones that have spoken to me in each of my “mini-seasons” as I have come to call them. It was so sweet looking out at the faces worshipping with me, adoring the same King I adore, creating an environment of praise and thankfulness together.
After continuing in worship for at least an hour or so, my friend Isaac began to pray out. His prayer left me struck by the reality that the Lord has called me to go to the nations, to set captives free, to speak life and love and truth, to bring such beautiful news. His words were prophetic and powerful, filling me with a confidence and trust in the call that God has commissioned in my life. After He finished, prayer continued and others came forward with words of encouragement and love, crying out to the Lord on my behalf… Words that filled me, words that stirred within me, words that I believe struck the Father’s heart as they did mine.
And by the end of the night I was planted in the center of the lawn with various hands outstretched and laid upon me while my dear family continued to pray and intercede on my behalf. I was being undone in that moment, and my Spirit continued to speak the word “HONOR” over and over again in my heart as I realized how much of it I was receiving in those Spirit-filled hours in the presence of so many I love. I was being drenched in words of life and comfort, peace and excitement, love and favor. It was one of my most favorite times to date.
...And there I found myself in the kitchen as the lasts guests were leaving cleaning up with a few others and we were gushing over what the Lord had given us in such a glorious night.
I saw a picture of mountains on the front of the fridge and began to relate the image to what we had just experienced…
“It was like a peak! Like everything I've experienced over the last couple weeks, months, years was leading up to this peak experience!”
Then, Stephanie continued, trying to articulate the event as I was,
“Its like the first peak of many peaks…” I began to brim with excitement as I knew the metaphor was still incomplete but we were beginning to find breakthrough as we continued to mull over this concept of a mountain-like experience...
Then… Just a few moments later... I saw the light come into her eyes and in all her wisdom she spoke again,
“It was a false summit….”
I lit up alongside her when she said those words, "a false summit" and a huge smile emerged on my face! I began to dance around, and I couldn't help but rejoice! Stephanie laughed and joined in my enthusiasm because she knows my soul is so affected by words of many kinds. We both realized together that there was such depth to what she had spoken because they reflected an adventure we had gone on together with a group of our friends over winter break.
Four or five months ago we went on a hike that was literally a steep incline the whole way up. Throughout the hike, we kept thinking that we were getting closer, but there was still much trail that laid ahead before we were to reach the top. There were even a few times when we arrived a certain points on the trail and actually thought that we had made it, but realized it was just a false summit and there was still more ahead. In those moments, we would have just taken those first “summits”… They were beautiful, there was certainly a view, we felt content, we were tired and were fine with settling for the glory that was surely just as appealing as the final summit.
But…When we reached the top… It was as if the whole world was opening up and we could see miles beyond we could have ever encountered at the other pit stops along the way. There were mountains and valleys, so many trees that topped the surfaces all around, so many colors, and even some snow!!
When we saw the real summit there was no comparison to the others because of how drastically magnificent and far-more glorious it was.
So, you can imagine, when these words emerged from her lips as we mulled over our night I knew exactly what they meant…
This life is just a series of false summits. The Lord takes us to new places, to new heights, and sometimes we become convinced that the best has already been accomplished, the glory has already been revealed, the greatness already attained. But… When he opens our eyes to even MORE that we haven’t yet experienced, we get that sensation all over again and feel as though we have reached yet another summit.
This truth is full of hope, a promise that is surely hard to grasp because it means that we join in trusting the Lord that there is so much more for us that we cannot see, cannot fathom, cannot even imagine EVEN IF He chose to tell us now. He will continue to take us further up His momentous mountain of life, revealing to us MORE of Himself, MORE of His glory, MORE of His will, and then, one day… We’ll reach the summit that He has always intended for us… The place where we will be made complete and perfect with Him forever.
That is the summit I am after, and I will take as many false summits as He chooses to give me before I get there.
Thank you Lord that you want to take us to deeper glories, higher peaks, and more false summits than we could dream up ourselves as we pass through this lifetime. I partner with you in this great adventure you’ve given me and I say YES to all the places we will go together, hand in hand, my trust in you and my faith resting on your unrelenting promises.
I will continue to put one foot before the other, climbing and believing that when you say there is MORE, you truly mean it.