When You don’t move the mountains, I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!
Those lyrics by Lauren Daigle became quite important to me about two years ago. I had a mountain in my life. A mountain that made me feel as though I might die. A mountain I needed moved because I was not strong enough to move it on my own. It was especially high in altitude, casting shadows on me and making it (feel) impossible to be warm, receptive, upbeat … sometimes even kind. It was as if I ran out of every spiritual energy I ever possessed by the power of the Holy Spirit, and if I didn’t get out from under the mountain and it’s dark shadows, I was going to wither up and perish, spiritually.
To be honest, there was more than one mountain. All long-standing, seemingly unmovable, sun-blocking mountains that had worn me to nearly nothing. And I hovered in those shadows, shivering, not knowing what to do.
Then I heard Lauren’s song, and began to not only sing it, but pray it, begging for movement, for a parting of waters, for answers of what to do next. Interestingly enough, one answer I received was to move myself. The other answer was to stay in the shadows, and let Him move the mountain in His timing.
That’s an option?
Moving myself out from underneath the shadow was not something I had considered, because in my view, I was on the Lord’s mission. And if I kept getting slapped in the face whilst on that mission, then so be it. In my mind, I was taking one, two, three, a ton of hits for the team (how admirable, huh?). Sometimes taking hits legit needs to happen. But when you’ve reached a point of being ineffective, exhausted, discouraged, because you’ve been blocked from any life-giving, life-sustaining sunshine for so long, perhaps it’s time to abort the mission. Stop taking the hits. Move your face.
Eventually, I did abort the mission, and though He didn’t answer my prayer to move the mountain, He did remove me from the dark shadow of the mountain, far enough away that I could receive the life-giving, life-sustaining sunshine.
Then there were the deep waters. I’m still treading those, but getting out from under the mountain shadows has somehow given me the strength to keep swimming. I do believe that eventually, the waters will be parted, and I will once again be safely on dry ground. Whether that be here or on the other side of Heaven, I do not know.
Wait a minute, Brenda. The idea of the song is not for the mountain to be moved and the waters to be parted, but for you to trust in Him even if nothing changes.
This is true. But what I forgot to mention is that between the time I began singing and praying Lauren’s song and the time I was delivered from the shadows of the mountain was long. At least a year and a half. And during that year and a half, I did grow in my trust because I remembered, prayed, and sang Lauren’s song, and I remembered Scripture that says the one thing that pleases God is faith. Not moved mountains, parted waters, or answers. But faith. Faith that if the mountains never move, what He says about me is still true. What He says about Himself is still true. And what He says about the trials of this earth not lasting forever is true (thank God!).
What surprised me through the entire period of trial is that it took so long for me to realize that God doesn’t always move the way we think He should or will. We look at that mountain and automatically think it needs to be moved. As if that’s the only option. It never dawns on us that God gave us a mind to think and navigate around or away from the mountain. We forget He gives us feet, or crutches, or a wheelchair to head out and live in the sunshine. We only shake the fist toward Heaven and demand the monstrous mountain be moved.
I am learning that mountainous trials sometimes linger because of our own laziness in using what God has given as a means of survival. Or perhaps it’s an inability to see how or when to walk away. Either way, a question we need to ask ourselves when faced with big, scary obstacles is … does the obstacle need removing, or do I need to walk away?
Sometimes, though, Miss Daigle is right. All we can do is pray for strength in the shadows, knowing that He is sovereign over us, over the mountain, over the shadow and chill. And yes, trust. Have faith that when we pass through the waters, He will be with us. When we pass through the rivers, they will not overflow us. When we walk through the fire, we will not be burned. Nor shall the flame scorch us. Those words can be found in Isaiah 43:2-4. But there are other words found in the Psalms, where there are accounts of David running for his life. Of David using his physical feet and his smarts for navigation and hiding out techniques.
So we must trust, yes. But at times, we may also need to simply get away from the unmovable mountains in our lives.
Doesn’t that take an inordinate amount of wisdom?
Yes it does. Thankfully, God gives wisdom liberally. James 1:5 says: If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. When I pray about mountains, my hope is always that God will simply do the work of moving them for me. But if He doesn’t, I find comfort in knowing He will either sustain me through the shadows, the fire (some mountains are volcanic!), and even deep waters. He will never leave me or forsake me. He is my God, and I am precious in His sight.
As you stand in the chilly shadows of your mountain, swim your waters, and ask for wisdom and answers, remember those truths. He’s with you. You’re precious. He is your God, and that will never change, come what may.
Sometimes, the promises of God are all a gal needs to keep warm, keep swimming, or go on without complete understanding. Other times, a gal needs to move her hiney like it’s on fire, because it is.
Godspeed to all in deciphering which scenario is our own.