A huge way Jesus reveals Himself to us is through allowing all of us to be with Him. With the daily grind removed, I had the chance to sit with a sliver of Jesus this summer in Jackson Hole, WY. This scarcely unpopulated location is filled with raw beauty that is brimming with wild animals and locals who leave little trace. During my stay, I ventured 10,000 feet above sea level atop of the Grand Teton Mountain Range. The culmination of the stark beauty and an intense feeling of isolation from human life, made me feel so small and helpless. To put it candidly, it reminded me of my innate and intense need for Jesus. It unveiled very real necessities like food, shelter, and water, but also my dependence on Jesus for things like relationships and feeling worthy and loved. I was reminded of how much He had provided and gave me faith that He will provide again.However, something started to happen. I quickly became greedy and unsatisfied that this spiritual clarity would not last forever. Permanent spiritual perfection is not what Jesus wants for us though. Oswald Chambers, to me, explains it best:
We are not made for the mountains, for sunrises, or for the other beautiful attractions in life-those are simply intended to be moments of inspiration. We are made for the valley and the ordinary things of life, and that is where we have to prove our stamina and strength. Yet our spiritual selfishness always wants repeated moments on the mountain. We feel that we could talk and live like perfect angels, if we could only stay on the mountaintop. Those times of exaltation are exceptional and they have their meaning in our life with God, but we must beware to prevent our spiritual selfishness from wanting to make them the only time."
Looking back on that moment now, I realize how climactic it was in my faith, but how it was not the most important. The important times have come when I was at my wits end with school, friends, Young Life, etc., but remembered that mountain top exaltation and responded more like Jesus, simply because I knew Him better.
Looking at winter break, I think we could all use a mountain top moment or just a time where we feel Jesus’ presence more than the bits of it we get during our quiet times next to our biology and finance text books. So let’s use this break to meet Jesus intimately. Some of us may be lucky enough to travel and encounter Jesus through His creation, but I also believe one of the most radical ways to hear Him is to open our Bibles; maybe more consistently or for longer than normal. Let’s use this break to receive our daily bread from the word and not just a daily snack to get us by. I know soon enough we will have to prove our spiritual strength and stamina in the various and awesome things Jesus will call us to do in 2016, but let us be equipped with a solid foundation of faith to lean back on when things get dark.
Thanks for being in this with me,
Mahomet YL Leader
This blog is operated by the Young Life Leaders at the University of Illinois & Parkland. A different leader will post daily over winter break. Our hope is to push each other to grow, & to love Jesus more.
Feel free to write your thoughts or encouragements back in the comments at the bottom!