Anne Lamott in a Facebook post on March 30, 2015 talked about those moments in our lives when we need to be comforted by more than cliches. While I flinched at some of what she wrote, possibly because I have been guilty of offering words bereft of any action to back them, rendering them empty.
In the midst of her post she wrote these words that spoke volumes about WHY indeed, we encounter MOUNTAINS in this life,(edits and emphasis, mine):
“So what do I want to hear at a gathering, like church, say, or a random group of alkies?
I want to hear, “Me, too. I have that, too. I know what that feels like.” …. Jesus knew what it feels like, the loneliness, the sadness. The brutality. Jesus often said, “It’s very hard here. Have you eaten? Look–you all stick together, go to the beach and have some fish. Share what you have. We’ll talk later.”
I want to hear, “Wow, thank you for trusting me with that. What a big &%$^& drag. I’ve been through that, too. Let’s file a brief with the Complaints department. Come, we’ll sit down with a nice cup of tea and plan our strategy.”
Jesus said, “In this broken, angry, strife filled world, you will have trouble, but look ahead I have overcome the world…keep that in mind and then Paul wrote in his second letter to the church at Corinth:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (II Corinthians 1:3-4 NKJV)
I have never put much stock in the prosperity gospel. WHY? Because my 70 years on earth have shown me that being poor, broken, sick, in bondage, etc. have not a whit to do with one’s faith or lack there of. I have seen as the psalmist said, ‘Evil people prospering’ and ‘good Godly folks suffering’ If I hear someone tell a terminal cancer patient that all they need is faith to be healed and if they are not healed then their faith is too small, I want to throttle that person.
This world is boken, nothing works right or forever, planes crash, marriages fail, abuses upon abuses prevail. I am broken, nothing works right or forever, I crash, I have muddled up more than one a mess of relationship.
Good News! Read II Corithians 1:3-4 againg. God comforts us in all our bad situations, SO we can understand and comfort others. Jesus promised that nothing would be impossible for us (Matthew 17:20). There is a way through the fire and the raging waters of life; He goes with us; He wants us to go through it with others.
Anne Lamott went on to say (again my edits and emphasis):
I heard the exact right thing last week, when a preacher on the radio said, “Stop talking about the mountain that’s in your way–that makes it bigger. Talk TO the mountain. Say, I WILL defeat you.‘” I had to pull off the side of the road, and I glared and looked as scary as an aging black-belt co-dpendent can, and I said to my mountain, “I WILL defeat you, you *&^@$ mountain.” And in the following week, I did.
I want someone to say that against all odds, there is a solution. There really absolutely is. And that it’s not out there–it’s not in circumstance. Circumstances do not need to change to feel peace again or even happiness. It’s not in amassing or achieving. I so hate this. As Lily Tomlin said, the problem with winning at the rat race is that you’re still a rat. The solution is in knowing the truth. The solution is always spiritual, and it almost never has anything to do with the problem.
I don’t know what your mountain is today, but I do know God has given us the Power to Speak to the MOUNTAIN and say “Get out of my WAY! By the Power of the Holy Spirit, I WILL defeat you!” Then get out there and HELP OTHERS FIND THEIR MOUNTAIN MOVING VOICE!