I was born with the wanderlust. I inherited it from my father. He never saw much of this world, but when he became restless, we just moved across town. In fact, we lived in seven different rentals, in the same small town, between my second birthday and kindergarten. We always paid the rent, so we weren’t running from the landlord.
I have seen a lot of the world and yet, at the age of eighty, I still long to fly away to some distant land to see new faces and experience new places.
When I was four years old, my father decided to move the family to Colorado. Someone told me it snows there, and Colorado was colored pink on the map, so I put it all together and decided that the Colorado Mountains were covered with pink snow. I was excited.
The day came when the seven of us, mama, daddy, and five kids, piled into our 1934 Buick and started across the Arizona desert towing a large four-wheeled trailer filled with our early poverty belongings.
For some inexplicable reason, my father chose the month of August for this family adventure. In 1939, there was no such thing as air conditioning in an automobile, but not one of us died from heat exhaustion.
Zipping along through the burning desert, at 40 miles per hour, we made good time until we turned north toward the mountains. Yarnell Hill was our first challenge. To my father’s dismay, the Buick balked unable to pull the weight and make the uphill grade. Again and again, he tried to no avail.
Finally, daddy decided that he would offload part of the weight, take the rest to the summit and come back for another load. Part of what he offloaded was My Mother, my sisters, and me. The boys would be his helpers.
We have a picture of my twelve-year-old sister standing in the skinny shade of a saguaro cactus.
My Dad has been gone for many years, but I can still feel his frustration, disappointment and sense of failure as he tried time and again to find a way to get his family to Colorado.
At the end of the day, hot, tired, dirty and disheartened, we turned around and headed back to Wickenburg. There we found a place to camp for the night. Daddy went to a nearby grocery store coming back with supper – bread, bologna and a big bucket of ice water.
Setting the icy water down by the car running board, where I rested my four-year-old self, my father turned to other chores, and I lifted my poor tired, dirty, disappointed little toes and plunged them into that deliciously frigid bucket. To this day, I cannot remember the consequences of my precipitous action, but there had to be some compensation for the loss of pink snow, right?
The next morning our tired and wiser family headed back to the valley where my parents were at home for more than fifty years.
The mountains defeated us. Had we conquered the first rise, which was not much of a mountain at all, I wonder what we would have done when we reached the Rockies.
Years ago we sang a little chorus:
“Got any rivers you think are uncrossable.
Got any mountains you can’t tunnel through.
God specializes in things thought impossible.
And He can do what no other power can do.”
Mountains often defeat us. Too frequently we are faced with insurmountable problems to which there is no discernible solution. Like my father, we exhaust ourselves trying to get over, around or through the problem.
2500 years ago, a man named Zerubabbel faced just such a mountain.
After seventy years in captivity, he led 50,000 Israelites back to Jerusalem, where they anticipated rebuilding the temple and their treasured city. He was no doubt discouraged when he saw the extent of the work, his feeble resources, and the formidable opposition. This was a mountain he could not cross.
In Zechariah 4:6 – 7 we read: “…This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. Who are you, O, great mountain? Before Zerubabbel you shall become a plain!”
I like the way the Message says it. “So, big mountain, who do you think you are? Next to Zerubabbel you are nothing but a molehill.”
You may be facing an unscalable mountain today. Remember, it is not by your efforts, but by the power of the Spirit of God. When you stand shoulder to shoulder with Him, that mountain is nothing but a molehill. He can do what no other power can do.
THE SUN WILL COME OUT TOMORROW!