Read: Hebrews 11:1-7 

Now we come to the part where an act is necessary. What act? An act of faith, belief that the Father will reach out to you and guard and guide you. Faith is the central point of healing. In many of the gospel stories of cures Jesus healed directly as they believed. God sees our little efforts and is pleased. Again sometimes this happens like a layer of an onion. We get just enough faith to take the next step. In fact, as St. Paul says, “We walk by things unseen for what is seen passes away but the unseen is eternal.” It is by this gift that we directly enter into the heart of the Father and it is here that He reaches out to us. By Faith, we enter into the eternal now. And without faith it is impossible to please him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. This is the quintessential piece that all other things build from. That means not doubting that what God promises He will do. We should be convinced and empowered in these words. (See Romans 4)

Faith is both a gift and a virtue. Which means that sometimes in the moment we just find that we have it and other times it grows as it is practiced. It is that driving force that keeps our head up in difficulty and in the skies when we have consolation like stepping stones across a water way. Sometimes God gives us signs that He is present and at others we walk with the trust that He is right with us. It is in the moments of darkness that we grow the most and become who we are. I can’t stress enough that it is from here that all other gifts come. Without it we quickly lose ground and find ourselves fallen in the deep muck. 

Read: Mark 9:2-13

And [he] led them up a high mountain apart by themselves; and he was transfigured before them, and his garments became glistening, intensely white as no fuller could bleach them. In life God leads us up steep mountains that can be a lot of work to get to the top of. If you have ever climbed a mountain or steep hill you know exactly what I mean. But then we get to the top and what brilliance and beauty we see about us. There are moments in our life that illuminate to us the very presence and care of the Hand of God. Some moments are rather large and momentous and other moments are fleeting glimpses. And yet they are necessary for the growth and transfigurment of our heart. They grow us and enlarge our hearts in our relationship with the Father. How beautiful these moments are and yet it is not the experience that is the great thing but rather that our faith is grown. We should not just live for the mountaintops but also for the valleys and plains for this is what makes up the spiritual life. Peter says in all the brilliance of the moment Master it is well that we are here. Let us make three booths one for you one for Moses and one for Elijah. It is that lingering hope to make things stay as they are. It is a fear that we will not see Jesus and be weak and alone.

But Faith tells us that we will be with Him both on the mountain where the Father says This is my Beloved Son, listen to him and in the thick bracken and undergrowth of the valley. It is well for us to ask for such moments for they enliven and quicken our hearts. Yet the moment we are no longer on the mountain then we forget that God is with us. We have spiritual amnesia. No. When we have trial and difficulty it is precisely remembering the mountaintop experiences that will get us through. It reminds us of the faithfulness of God and that He indeed keeps His promises. That is why it is so important to keep journals and records of what God does for us so that we can look back and remember just what it is that God has done. How quickly one loses his way. Yet it is precisely the valleys and plains that show us who we are and not the mountaintop. It shows God how much we have grown and also ourselves. It is easy to be holy when all is dazzling white. Give me the steep side of a cliff and show the Lord that we can be just as close to Him there as anywhere else! Consolation and Happiness are all well and good but, ah, it is the valleys that truly show one’s worth. If we truly are living our life in a manner pleasing to God, we will still have a deep joy in suffering as well as in consolation. It is peaceful both in the prairies and the valleys as is the mountaintop. Does that mean my life will be all heart ache suffering? No. God desires to fill your glass to overflowing and it is His good pleasure to give you the kingdom but it is the mountaintops that sustain us in the valleys and the valleys that strengthen us for the mountaintop. Each experience should find us stronger than the last. Another way to think about this concept is a trampoline. Each jump brings us higher than the last. Yet it is not just being high up in the air as it is traveling to get there that is beautiful. We are catapulted by trial and suffering into the very glory of God! Higher and higher and He shall raise you up, as the line of the song says.

Pray: Psalm 145


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *