I live in the shadow of a mountain.
(A BIG one.)
It’s an old volcano ~ semi-active. An ancient reminder that this place? Is a place where volcanic things happen.
My town? Is a very small town. Located in one of the poorest counties in California.
Our unemployment rate hovers around 25% all of the time.
(The percentage of hopelessness is much higher.)
This place? This is a place you want to be from, not a place you want to go to. Most folks just pass it by, while zooming down the interstate.
Most of our young who grow up here? Leave. They go off seeking opportunity somewhere else… because in truth? Why would anybody want to stay here; do anything here? Building on the crumbling ruins of what once was, and now—isn’t? Opportunities, miracles, hope? Highly unlikely you’ll find any here.
So, I have been waiting. Waiting to go. Waiting for another door to open… for a heavenly signpost to point somewhere… anywhere, else.
I wanted to be done with here.
Imagine my dismay when I heard God say to me,
“I will make all my mountains a way.”
A way? Here? (My heart sank.) Because yes, I was looking over there. To another place. A better place. A place that definitely wasn’t, HERE.
You see, wherever I look here? I do see only mountains. Mountains of deserted empty buildings. Mountains of obstacles and difficulty. Mountains of poverty and lack. Mountains of prejudice… mountains of sad events, with even sadder memories attached to them. I feel surrounded here by big black mountains—of impossible impossibilities.
That, wherever I am—He IS.
He keeps reminding me, my mountains, are His mountains. And today God said, “Yep! You got it exactly right,” then affirmed, “You are in the very place where miracles happen.”
“Here?” I said.
“…yep!” He answered.
(My heart sank further.)
This is not what I was hoping to hear. Perhaps it’s not what you want to hear either? Maybe that other “place” you are pining for? Is not God’s place for you either… even though, secretly? You keep hoping that it is.
So I wonder, “Is your place also an impossible place? Is God pointing you to an impossible task, right there, where you are? Are you the highly unlikely one, the no-way one, anyone-in-their-right-mind would choose one?” Is God asking you to accomplish an impossible dream? Does He keep whispering in your ear, “Nothing is impossible with Me?” [Luke 1:37]
So, I decided to remind God… (just in case He forgot) “LORD, this is “the place” my family compares to Lo Debar, remember?”
For those of you who don’t know, Lo Debar was a small village in the Bible that was a horrible nowhere-place; a castaway-place; a place nobody wanted to be in—ever. Lo Debar means “no pasture” and as such, it is a place of no hope.
(Insert heavier sigh here.)
Okay, so then God reminded me of all those prayers I had prayed for (wait for it!) HERE. Yep. All those prayers that didn’t happen. All those prayers I gave up on… attempted to forget about. (Or, at least, I was trying to!)
Don’t you just hate it when God reminds you of something you would prefer to forget, because that was then, and this is now?
But, I went to my Bible and read where He pointed me anyway…
God also says:
“When the time’s ripe, I answer you.
I’ll make all my mountains into roads,
Impossible! (I’m thinking) Highly unlikely God. Surely, not HERE Father. Please! (another heavy sigh escapes from my heart)
Then I “stumbled” upon this…
Okay God, so is this the signpost we’ve all been praying for?