One time returning from New Jersey, I traveled with my brother-in-law's sister and her husband. I believe I was 13, going into eighth grade. Being an adventuresome college or just out of college students, they stopped at the Delaware Water Gap. I was forewarned we were mountain climbing and I was excited.
I hiked at Westminster Highlands, church camp with hills, so I figured this would be like that. At first, it was. The beginning of the trail, just deep green forest, sheltering us from the August sun, somewhat flat. We started climbing and turning and climbing some more. Sandy and I had to rest, but Ron impatiently waited. I remember even then being surprised that a young healthy girl couldn't keep up the pace of a mountain hike.
Heart pounding, I turned that last bend and way below the double ribbon of I-80 weaved with the Delaware River. Whatever praise song I knew at the time, escaped from my lips and I didn't care. I totally thrilled at the accomplishment I made in the climb with the delight of the view.
Last week I read about Abraham being instructed by God to climb a mountain, Moriah, and sacrifice his son, Isaac. Before the hike began, Abraham knew what was required at the climax. Would I have started that mountain hike if I knew something would have to be sacrificed? Would I do it now? (this is in Genesis 22)
In my Bible study with Beth Moore that same day, on the video, she urged us to go to those higher places with God. I thought how we always want the mountain top experiences, the exhilaration, the views, the closeness to God. Yet, what is the thing He is asking me to give up for those moments?
Abraham left for the mountain, knowing his son was to be put on that altar. He even had Isaac tied to the altar. Isaac was a dead kid. God intervened, providing the ram.
I know whatever I give up, God will provide the replacement. He wants a willing heart and obedient servant.