Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Getting Closer to God

Do you remember that episode of Little House on the Prairie when Laura runs away to climb to the top of a mountain after the death of her little brother?

I do! It was one of my favorite episodes EVER.

If you have not seen it, let me give you a summary:

Jealous of the attention Charles showers on his newborn son, Laura longs for the place she believes she's lost in her pa's affections and angrily refuses to pray for her little brother to get well when the baby becomes seriously ill. When her newborn brother dies, Laura believes that her jealousy was responsible for his death and that her parents would rather have a son than a daughter. She decides to climb the highest hill she can find, hoping to get as close to God as possible, to ask Him to take her instead and return the baby boy to the family. While Charles and Mr. Edwards desperately search for her, Laura meets Jonathan, a mystical mountain man who seems to have been sent purposely to guide her through this life-changing experience where she learns about the power of unconditional love.

When I watched this as a young girl I had different eyes. I knew nothing of grief and loss. And I never imagined that someday I would experience the same kind of anguish that drove Laura up the mountain. Like her, after the deaths of my own babies, I desperately wanted to ask God to change things as I could not bare them as they were.

I have been climbing my mountain for a year and a half now and have yet to reach the top. It is a long way up.

But something amazing has happened to me along the way.

I am closer to God now, not because I have increased my proximity to Him, but because He has pursued me up the mountain the entire time.

Just like Laura's Pa went to find her, my Jesus set out after me when I went running away in desperation to relieve the sorrow in my soul.

And He found me.

It is an amazing gift to be found. And being lost in grief is even worse I think that being lost in some wilderness. I have been rescued. My Father came for me.

The strange thing is I am not always happy about being rescued. For a long time I really wanted to climb alone. I just didn't have it in me to buddy up with the One I felt took my girls from me. I didn't want anymore help from Him. There was so much I misunderstood about my Father's love for me.

I remember purposely keeping God at an arms length. I could feel Him near me willing to comfort me. But I didn't want to be comforted. I was hurt, but He was patient. He never gave up on me.

I think when I finally get to the top of this mountain I won't want to petition God for a different outcome anymore. At least not the one I originally set out to request. Instead of wanting my babies to come back to me, I will want to go to them.

And I might just sit at the top for a while, closer to God than I have ever been, and smile toward heaven...not because I can finally reach Him, but because He reached me. Our Heavenly Father doesn't just wait on top for us, He comes and gets us at the bottom and walks with us up the mountain.

It is in the climb that we truly get to know Him anyway.

I know God differently than I did a year and a half ago. More intimately without question. Some experiences can only be had on the sheer cliff face of the hardest climb of your life...when you are most vulnerable is when God reveals himself most powerfully. I am not sure why that is. For me I think I had to rediscover my need for a savior. And not just one to save me from my sins, but to save me from my pain.

Some things are just too much to bare alone.

In the end I realize that I am not climbing my mountain to change things, but more so to be the process and the God that guides me through it. Laura did not get her baby brother back at the top of her mountain. But she did learn of her Pa's unconditional love for her as he sough at all costs to find her and bring her home.

When I reach the top of my mountain I will not get my babies back either. My circumstances will not change. I will come down the mountain with empty arms, but not an empty heart. I will undoubtedly be profoundly changed by my Jesus who also sought at all costs to find me and, will one day, bring me home.

And my girls will be there waiting for me.

Happy New Year!

1 comment:

  1. I know I watched that episode because I remember just a little bit about it.

    "Our Heavenly Father doesn't just wait on top for us, He comes and gets us at the bottom and walks with us up the mountain."

    I'm so thankful He does.


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