I’ve missed my mountains.
I’m so glad to be back in my hometown of Tucson, Arizona. I like the warmer weather and it’s been a joy being near family after decades of being the happy wanderers of our clan. I’ve also realized how much I have missed seeing the daily view of mountains that surround the city like four sentinels.
I surprise myself with my love for the Rocky Mountains in the Western United States, particularly the ranges in Southern Arizona. As a child with severely limited vision, the most I could see was the outline of the top peaks and a smudge of pinks and purples contrasted against the deep blue Southwest sky. Yet I also couldn’t figure out how anyone would know direction without the compass points of the four mountain ranges that formed a jagged rectangle around the Tucson valley. Which way is north? Look for the Santa Catalinas. The next closest range, the Rincons, are to the right, east of the city.
Now, with my Better Than Ever vision, I can see higher ridges behind the foothills. In early morning light, the shadows of the peaks cast the canyons in relief. The Catalinas and Rincons aren’t a flat slab as my childhood eyes saw; instead, they are each a series of ranges, one behind the other, intersecting in canyons and craggy outcroppings, extending for miles beyond the line facing the Tucson valley floor.
Even those with average sight can perceive the details better at some times than others, depending on the time of day, the angle of the sun, the dusty haze from an occasional haboob, or the stripping of shadow from a cloud filled sky. And then, it all depends on your vantage point on the valley floor. The mountains look different if you are on Houghton Road or Craycroft Road. Drive north toward the Catalinas and the view is ever changing as the looming foothills now hide the entry way to canyons. The canyons and crevices are still there even when our eyes don’t detect them.
Our perspective may vary, but the mountains don’t change.
That’s what I love about the Rocky Mountains. My view might change, giving me endless pleasure, but the mountains stay the same. I’ve been away for forty years and those same mountains welcomed me home. Tucson businesses might come and go, some family members have left this earth, but those mountains aren’t going anywhere.
Just like God and His Word
God never changes. He is the constant in a world of chaos. He will always be God. His righteousness never deviates. As long and enduring as the mountains have been, God is even more permanent. He’s not going anywhere. He has always been God and always will be God.
What does that mean for us?
Throughout my life, I might get different glimpses of the Almighty God. Some days He will seem flat line. The mess of the world at times will obscure my view of Him. When I move closer to examine one particular trait or step back to get a broader view of His nature, I’ll have different viewpoints of what He is like. But, even though it seems that my view of Him is changing, He never changes. He is fully reliable, consistent, and dependable.
That’s part of the fun of a relationship with God. I have a lifetime to discover who He is, how He operates, and what is important to Him. As my spiritual vision increases, I’ll discover things about God I never knew before. Yet, just like that mountain range, no matter where I move, God remains the same. He truly is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken,” says the Lord, who has mercy on you.(Isaiah 54:10)
Isn’t that comforting? Any news story about an erupting volcano convinces us that even mountains are not impenetrable. Yet nothing can shake God. Nothing can change His righteousness. No one can rock His unfailing love for you. His word as expressed in the Bible and through the person of Jesus Christ is more solid and enduring than the hardest rock of a mountain range.
Yes, our world is a mess right now. Doesn’t it make sense to put your confidence in something, no, Someone, who is unshakable, everlasting, and permanently reliable?
So the next time I step out my door to get my daily fix of mountain gazing, I’m going to use that moment to thank God for mountains. And I’ll thank God for how those mountains remind me of His unfailing love and of the rock solid reliability of His Word.