“I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1–2
These past few weeks have been a very busy time for our district. The Adventist heritage weekend was very well attended with people both from our district, and others who came to town for the event. It was a rich experience revisiting the stories of the faith of the pioneers and how God worked in their lives. For those of us who remained to the end on Sabbath afternoon, it was an incredibly meaningful experience of re-committing ourselves to God's great movement here at the end of time. As I reflect on the experiences of our pioneers I cannot help but notice that they served a living God! They did not simply believe in God as a concept, or as a set of beliefs, for them Jesus was as real and active as you or I.
I have had some ask me questions in the past as to why God does not seem to be as active as He was in other times and places and I was reflecting on this question as I went on vacation this past week. Visiting Rocky Mountain National Park with my family, I was reminded of the God who made the hills and the mountains. The power to shape worlds resides in Him and was manifested all around me. As I looked at those mountains I felt very small. On Wednesday morning, my dad, sister and I decided to hike the trail to Flattop Mountain which overlooks the Continental Divide. The weather forecast said there was a chance of storms. But it did not look too bad when we got up in the morning. As we began the hike, I was prayed that God would let us reach Flattop Mountain. In the stillness of my heart a thought came strongly to me, "I will hold the storm.” As we journeyed up the mountain the clouds began forming on our left and on our right and we could see heavy rain and eventually began to hear thunder in the distance. As the storm continued gathering there was always a brighter patch of sky before us. In spite of the weather on either side of the range we made it to Flattop Mountain with no difficulty. But at the top we discovered the storm had closed in around us and we began to feel the tingle of electricity in the air. It was time to go. As we went back down the mountain all around us was deep darkness and there was thunder coming on either side. But the most amazing thing happened, the lighter cloud that had gone with us on the way up the mountain, now turned and was over us and remained so all the way back to the trailhead. Over the rest of the park was thunderstorm and downpour but over us there was light and nothing more than a drizzle. Coming down the mountain ringing in my heart was that quiet promise “I will hold the storm,” what I didn’t realize, until I was in the middle of it, was that He was only planning to hold the storm over us while it went on everywhere else. Our descent down the mountain became one of the most intense praise services I have ever experienced as we had living proof “my help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”
This month, I am here to testify that the God of the Pioneers, the apostles and the prophets is the God that we serve and He is still alive and active today! What we often fail to realize is that, like Shadrach Meshack and Abednego, Daniel, Joseph, Jeremiah, Ellen White, James White, Joseph Bates and myriad other witnesses, God’s living power it is experienced not in the absence of storms but in the midst of them. We, like Elisha's servant, need to have our eyes opened in the midst of enemy armies to the chariots of fire God places around His servants. Are you in the storm today? Call on the living God!