“After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters-one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.'” Mark 9:2-5
This is one of my favorite ‘Jesus’ moments. I love the mountain top experiences with Him.
You know what I’m talking about. It’s the worship services where the praise is powerful! It’s the church service where the Word of God is preached and you just feel the Lord’s presence mightily all around you! It’s being around Godly giants of the faith who inspire and encourage you. It’s maybe in your car or home, where like the disciples, you see Jesus high and lifted up, in such a glorious way, that you can’t help but stand in awe, or kneel in amazement at His dazzling glory. Yes, we sure do love those mountain tops!
And I can totally relate to Peter. He liked being up there on the mountain. In fact, he wanted to stay on the mountain and hang out a while. He even suggested building shelters for Moses, Elijah, and Jesus.
“Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: ‘This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!’
Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain…” Mark 9:7-9
Don’t you wish we could STAY on the mountain top? I sure do.
The view from the mountain top is amazing! I know. I’ve been there. I spent a whole summer on a mountain. I worked at Camp Living Stones as a camp counselor in the summer of 2001. It was a Christian camp where different church youth groups would come and worship the Lord in the mountains in Englewood, TN. Everything and everyone was centered around Jesus. There wasn’t technology or TV to distract us. We were surrounded by the sights and smells of nature. We were among some very precious Godly people.
Like the verses above, we felt like we were enveloped in a heavenly cloud all summer long! For all of us who were there, it was truly a little piece of heaven. I loved it! I soaked up every moment. It was good for us to be there!
Then summer ended.
As the end of summer approached, I began to get nervous and stressed. I knew I was going to have to leave the mountain top. I felt so safe and secure there. It was peaceful. I was comfortable. I wanted to stay and set up a shelter like Peter suggested. I was afraid to leave. The world that awaited me at the bottom of that mountain was unpredictable. It was unstable. I knew there was brokenness and heartache. There would be battles to fight. Distractions galore. I didn’t want to leave my holy mountain and face the valleys below.
I remember reading this very passage and praying–telling the Lord my fears. I read it again. That’s when I saw it. Verse 8 and 9. “Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain…” Then it was as if the Lord so clearly whispered to my heart, “Rachel, you have to leave this mountain, but you won’t leave alone. I am going down the mountain with you.”
He would be going down the mountain with me!
Oh, how could I have missed it? When Peter, James, and John left the mountain, Jesus went down with them. And He promises to be with us too.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4
He’s with us in the mountain top experiences of life, and He’s with us in the valleys too. No matter where we are or what we face, we can be absolutely sure that HE is always right by our side. We might have to leave the mountain, but we will never go down the mountain alone!