Taters Don’t Grow on Mountains

By: Gary L. Rodgers

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 When you read or hear the word “Mountains” what comes to your mind? Mountains have always been of particular beauty and interest to me as I’m sure they have been to others. No doubt I could paint the same picture in my mind that others have painted in theirs. You know! The log cabin built on a hillside overlooking a lake that lies in a large open area that is tucked in between two mountains as if the whole place were supported by the hands of God cupped together to form its surroundings. A place where trout streams swirl their way through the valley floor with smooth and gentle curves, caressing their way over rocks that gives the stream its voice as if it were the still small voice of God speaking to you softly and gently. As you look around you notice that the banks of the streams show signs of wild flowers and soft grasses growing to provide you their special beauty that can be found nowhere else in the world. A place where you happen upon a dead tree surrounded by tall grasses and wildflowers that oddly enough presents a striking beauty all its own as if to say that it purposely died to give you joy and happiness.

 

Imagine the excitement of catching a large Bass on the lake or wading through the clear water streams catching trout that weigh ten pounds or more; a true mountain paradise where you can find Pheasant, Grouse, Rabbit, Squirrel and Deer with huge racks.

 

Oh how wonderful is the peace of the mountains. To be there to live through all four seasons, to taste the cool clean waters of spring, to enjoy the warmth and beauty of summer, and to enjoy the Master’s painting of the fall colors. Yes! Even to feel the cold of winter on your face and to watch the gentleness of the snow falling with blankets of snow resting gently on the branches of pines trees making them look like spreads of cake frosting.

 

I have always enjoyed my time in the woods and open fields during hunting season. To take in the warmth of the Fall sun and the beautiful Fall colors where you felt like you and God were alone to commune and enjoy the day together. Fall has a smell all its own that can only be described as a relaxing odor, not a perfume odor like the smell of spring but a semi-sleepy smell that tells you that everything around you is getting prepared to take its rest.

 

I guess that the one great experience of being in the mountains is the great sense of freedom that you feel; Freedom from the day-to-day challenges of everyday life and the drudgery that seems to go along with that.

 

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK

I once visited Glacier National Park in the mountains of Montana where I had this overwhelming desire to take in and to forever keep a photograph in my memory of the many breathtaking views that I had seen. I can still see the mountains, streams, and fields as if I were there but a day ago.  It was a place where every rock, tree, shrub, and blade of grass seemed to lie in perfect harmony with its surroundings as though someone took the time and effort to place every speck of dirt and every living plant with great precision.

 

But man in all his restlessness and wonder will look to the higher mountain peaks and always imagine what it would be like to be up there. What breathtaking views would he see there, and what adventures would he experience, what treasures of beauty and peace lay on those lofty slopes? Eventually man will succumb to his fantasies and begin the climb. The way is difficult and treacherous. Small indentations in the rock face for finger and toeholds, deep ravines, ice, deep snow, howling winds, freezing temperatures and shivering nights. And yet man presses on with his passion and determination to succeed in this venture. The climb is sometimes fearful, with every muscle straining and every nerve on edge. And after many days of difficult laborious climbing we finally reach the summit. The experience of self-gratification, of power and achievement is beyond words; the feeling of renewed strength, the taste of triumph, and the many thoughts that must travel through ones mind. The awesome peace and beauty to behold in such a place nearly erases the memory of the climb. Mountain peaks gleaming in the early morning sunlight like giant crystals, and low-level clouds separating you from the rest of mankind.

We ask ourselves; will Heaven be like this? No! Not at all! It will be better!

The thoughts of staying up there above the rest of the world, close to Heaven, close to God must have often traversed the heart and mind of many a soul.

While the feeling of this place is like no other you eventually come to the realization that this wonderful and beautiful mountain top cannot sustain you. You must descend to the valley floor for nourishment.

 

MEETING GOD ON THE MOUNTAIN

To climb a mountain to meet with God is an experience like no other. The food that God provides for us beside the still waters in the valleys below will nourish and strengthen us for another venture to those snow-capped peaks. And what makes the trip even better the next time and each time afterward is the pleasure that we get from bringing a friend along and seeing the excitement and joy in their face as they too meet with God. There is a sense of joy and accomplishment that comes with being up on the mountain. Yet one realization becomes evident to us as we stand there gazing at all the beauty surrounding us. It is the valleys and hillsides below that help us to grow. It’s the everyday struggles and hardships that make us who we are. It’s where God teaches us and it’s where we learn to lean on Him with all of our disappointments and wants. The mountain top is always a beautiful place to visit but we all come to the realization that Taters don’t grow on mountains.

 

Between every mountain there is a valley and the valley is a vital part of every journey.

It’s the place of preparation a place where we get strengthened for the next journey, the next climb. But God is with us no matter where we are. When we get older climbing a mountain becomes difficult, even to the point of being impossible. Yet we can have our special climbing experience by getting away from the hustle and bustle of this world. Get alone with God and experience a wonder as you have never had before. Get into your prayer closet and take in the lofty mountain peaks that God lays before us. It is breathtaking and beautiful. And when we are all done we can go back to the valley again for the nourishment that we need. That is where God teaches us, in the valleys, that is where we will grow. So take it all in and by all means enjoy the trip. Remember God is with you and any hardship that you face He is there facing it with you. And when that final day comes and you walk through the valley of the shadow of death He is there with you. How do you know this? It’s because in the Valley of Death we will cast a shadow from the brightness of His glory shining upon us.

 

Isaiah 9:2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

 

So rest easy all who have trusted in Christ and have asked Him to wash away their sins with His blood. Rest easy for you are never alone!

 

 

 

 

THE INVITATION

 

Would you also like to meet with God on the mountain of faith where you can have the sweet peace of knowing that you will someday join Him in Heaven? You can know for sure today that you will go to Heaven and that you will become His child forever.

In the Bible we read in:

 

1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

 

God is calling out to you and others like you, to offer each of you the free gift of salvation. You can’t buy it and you can’t work for it.

 

­­­ John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand.

29 My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father’s hand.

30 I and [my] Father are one.

 

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Remember that this is a gift that is offered to everyone. It is offered to us by God.

 

Let’s take a look at what a gift is or is not. Suppose that today was your birthday and I came to your house with a gift for you. When you answered the door I said Happy Birthday! And I held out (offered) a gift to you. What do you need to do to get it so that it now becomes your very own? You need to reach out and take it, right? Well let’s suppose that after you took the gift from me I then held out my hand and said “That will be $112.42 please!” Your first thought would be that this isn’t really a gift at all because I got to do something to make it mine.  In this case you would be paying for it so this would not be a gift at all now would it?  If it’s a real gift then it has to be what? Free! And if it’s free then it means that the one offering it to you paid the full price for it so that they could offer it to you for free!

 

Jesus Christ paid the full price for the gift of salvation that He is offering to you and the world. And it’s free!

 

Let’s go back to the point where you answered the door on your birthday and you reached out and took the gift from me. But this time after having taken the gift you reached into your pocket and offered me money for it. Again this would not be a gift at all but rather a purchase. Because you’re the one now paying the price for it! So in reality I didn’t give you anything.

 

Do you understand what I’m trying to say? If Salvation is truly a gift from God then it has to be free, which means that you do not buy it, and you don’t work for it! There is absolutely nothing that you do for it other than reaching out for it in prayer and receiving it unto yourself by faith.

 

Jesus stands at the door of your heart with a gift for you;

 

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

 

Won’t you reach out and take it? All you need to do is bow your head in prayer and acknowledge that you are a sinner. Ask Christ to forgive you for all of the sins that you have ever committed and to wash away all of your sins with His blood. Acknowledge that you have put your faith and trust in Him as your Lord and Savior. In doing this the Holy Spirit will come into your heart as your guide and teacher in the things of God. Amen!

 

If you made a decision to pray and ask Christ to forgive you, and to wash away all of your sin with His blood, and to come into your heart to be your Savior, then we praise God for you.

 

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

You should write down the:

Date: _______________________

Time: __________________________

Place: _______________________________________________________

of your decision. Record this information in your Bible as a record of that decision. It is part of your testimony.

Please contact us through Myerstown Baptist Church, 59 N. Ramona Road, Myerstown PA. 17067 to let us know that you have made a decision for Christ so that we can pray for you and rejoice with you. We would like to send you some information to help you get started in your Christian walk. 

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