Getting up the mountain

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I have never been the outdoorsy type. It’s not that I don’t like exercise (although I’m sure that is a part of it), but it’s more that I don’t enjoy the heat, the bugs, or the snakes. It has often seemed so much safer to sit on my couch and tune into whatever cartoon is illuminating my television set.  However, in 2005, I found myself catapulted out of my comfort zone into the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.   

Our first “hike” to a village was on a long a paved road. With cars whizzing by, I was begging my team leader to let me wave one down and catch a ride. I ran out of energy early and began crying out to God to save me. Teleport me, take me to heaven, whatever he needed to do to get me out of my current situation. Within thirty minutes, our local contact zoomed by in her vehicle and then stopped to ask if we wanted a ride. While others were turning her down, I was already in the front seat, buckled up, and cranking up the air conditioning on my sweaty face while singing an internal hallelujah chorus.

While that had worked for me, I was told we would be hiking the next day on an actual mountain and I would not be rescued via vehicle this time. They were right. We hiked for hours through a dry river bed. I should also mention this was in the dead of summer, so the heat was almost unbearable. As we hiked, I prayed for rain. I prayed God would fill the river so I could go swimming and forget all this hiking mess. That was my prayer all day - that he would open up the clouds and let it rain. All the while feeling silly because it rarely rains in the summer in Africa.

We were eight hours in, and my body gave out. I couldn’t go any farther. I sat on a stump and cried. My team gathered around me and began to pray.  Do you know what happened next? 

It rained.

It wasn’t a lot, but it was enough for me to know my Heavenly Father was listening to me and loved me enough to crack open the sky in Africa and bring some refreshing rain to me.

In Matthew 17:20, we find Jesus, himself, speaking to his disciples about this very thing. He says to them, “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”

I made it to the top of that mountain, and we ministered to villages of people who had never heard of Jesus. We shared their homes, their food, and their families. God used my tiny faith to get me up that mountain so that he could love on more of his precious children, not only on that day, but also for the many days to come during my 2-month mission’s assignment in that region.

God wants to get you up your own mountains, whether physical or metaphorical. All you have to do is ask and have a little faith.

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Tiffany Maynard, and her husband Denny, have been members at the River for a year. Tiffany works as a foster parent recruiter and is passionate about teaching others about the intimacy of the father.