Do you have mountains of adversity in your life? I believe we all do. The size of the mountain may vary but I know that many moms are dealing with some difficult circumstances in their lives. I know of one mom who is in the process of going through a divorce, an obvious difficulty. I know of another mom who is struggling to understand why love hasn’t been enough to heal a young girl from the demons of her past. And then there is the mom whose child is running away from God, making very poor choices in their lifestyle. These are definite mountains of adversity and may feel impossible to overcome.
Other mountains can be just the daily tasks that moms face—the surmounting struggles just to stay on top of things, to keep it all together, to balance everything that needs to be done. I know that I have had my share of struggles in this area; taking on two additional children has seemed to more than double my workload.
Last Sunday morning one of our pastors preached an awesome message called “Running on Empty.” It was a very practical, down-to-earth and yet spiritually impacting message. Running on empty could very well describe many moms. Sometimes we are running on empty and don’t even know it. There have been times when I have hopped into my van to run from one place to the next and suddenly I realize that I am very low on gas and need to get to a gas station now. I was oblivious to the fact that we needed gas because I wasn’t paying attention.
If we don’t pay attention as moms, we can think all is well but then suddenly something small happens and we almost lose it. Well last Sunday morning I lost it…not in the sense that I blew a gasket but in that the realization of those mountains of adversity hit me hard. I knew I was being stretched…taking care of five children, dealing with so many issues of being in the foster care system, dealing with the birth mom, working our lives around their visits with mom and dad, trying to stay on top of chores and keeping the house clean, maintaining peace and unity, finishing up an online course and trying to fulfill my writing assignments. Like I said, I knew I was being stretched as so many moms are. I don’t know too many moms who are not busy!
But I was running on empty and didn’t even seem to notice. As I listened to that message being preached, I knew God was talking to me. I decided to go up for prayer at the end, thinking that I was going to get my little boost to carry on for the rest of the week. However, as soon as my feet hit that altar, something inside me unleashed. I began to cry uncontrollably. It just seemed to come out of left field.
When prayer time was over, I was doing everything I could to try and stop crying. But I couldn’t stop the tears…they just kept coming and coming. All my mountains of adversity suddenly seemed so big, too much for one person to handle. Most times I will leave a service and feel like everything is going to be okay. I didn’t leave with that sense. It almost felt like I was bearing a heavier burden now.
It wasn’t until later that day that I realized I was in a season where my mountains were a bit bigger than normal. I wasn’t going to get a quick fix at the altar. I had to take a journey and face the trek up over those mountains. If you have ever read the book, “Hind’s Feet on High Places” you know about the journey that Much-Afraid had to take in order to get to the High Places. Although the Shepherd walked with her, she was not kept from the difficult journey she had to make.
Moms, if you are facing mountains of adversity, don’t wish them away. Don’t look at them as obstacles. Instead, look at them as opportunities to grow in Christ. Look at them as a time of being refined and changed. If you run from those opportunities, you are the one losing out. Deep inside I do wish my mountains of adversity could be gone. I would love to find myself back in the place I once was, comfortable with my life as it was. Yet I will not run from this because I know that once I overcome those mountains of adversity, I will be fulfilled in a greater way than I probably could ever have imagined.
And the great thing is…God can be found in the mountain! Send forth Your light and Your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to Your holy mountain, to the place where You dwell (Psalm 43:3).