Encountering God on the Mountaintop
Often, in the middle of a wilderness adventure with my Explore team, I wonder, why am I doing this? I’ll have a rough day of hiking of a sleepless night, or my toes will be burning from the cold, and I’ll ask myself, why do I enjoy doing this? Then I am reminded of Moses. Moses was a hardcore mountain climber. At over 80 years old, he climbed Mount Sinai at least seven times (Exodus 3, 19, 24, 34) , and when he died atop Mount Pisgah at age 120, “His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated.” (Deuteronomy 24:7)
More impressive is the fact that every time we read of Moses climbing a mountain, he has a personal encounter with God. First, he meets God in the burning bush on Mount Sinai. His next six climbs up Sinai, God met with him in a thick cloud storming with thunder and lighting. On the last of these climbs, Moses encountered God face to face, and when he came down from the mountain, his face shone and the Israelites were afraid to approach him.
Every time that I climb a mountain, it is my hope that I will have an encounter with God and that others will be able to see that I have met with God. I want my face to shine when I come down from the mountain. Backpacking in the wilderness isn’t always easy or even fun, but if I remember to count every difficulty I encounter as a sacrifice to God, then I am able to see His glory in His creation and it is my reward. That is why I do this.
By David-James Bettis