Written by Amy Belawske (Photo from the summit of Whiteface Mountain taken by A. Belawske)
When it comes to God as “the Father”, my heart has been conflicted and embittered at times. There have been times when I couldn’t even make sense of this role of God and why it is so important when I already know Jesus to be a faithful Friend, Counselor, and most importantly, Savior.
I love to go hiking in the mountains. I don’t go nearly as much as I’d like, and most of the time, it’s a day trip and not anywhere I’m going to get myself in over my head. When it comes to packing my bag, sometimes I overdo it. The result is typically that it is filled to capacity with all sorts of “necessities” but before I know it, I can’t fit anything more in it without having to remove something else.
The need to make room.
In my walk with God, He has brought me to thresholds of urgency to make room for something else. Something He knows I’ll need in order to face life’s seasons. This is where I’m learning to acknowledge the notion that I may have something that consumes the space of my heart where there should only be room for something holy. In my hiking pack, it might look like removing the 2nd pair of socks that I likely won’t use, in order to fit an extra water bottle because it will be a hot day.
God is already there.
Surrendering the things we think we need can be scary. “What if I lose my balance on a log, slip into a stream and need that 2nd extra pair of socks after I already misjudged the depth of a puddle?”. I get it! But can we understand that when it comes to our hearts, God is already inhabiting that space! He’s already there and He’s inviting us by name, to come to Him for a higher exchange. There is a holy ground in our hearts that no one else can touch. He is so very patient with us, yet His call doesn’t relent.
God the Good, Good Father
I never feel more close to God than when I’m on a mountain. He is in my thoughts if it’s easy and when there are obstacles. He’s in the fatigue, the pains, in the struggle to take the next step, the victory at the top, and even in the descent. It’s a powerful and tangible activity that transforms my internal, personal pursuit of God into external motion. It mirrors my daily process of repentance and “unpacking” disappointments, struggles, unmet expectations, desires, bitterness, and sins into His hands for a divine trade-off.
Everytime I choose to allow God to make room, He always comes through. He mercifully brings forgiveness, peace, correction, protection, provision, wisdom, joy, and life to me in loving-kindness without fail, without condemnation. This is the love of a Holy Father. These are the things He desires to fill our hearts with to bring restoration to our spirits. These are things that are sustainable in Him, through a relationship with Jesus.
As my heart continues to soften to God in His entire, Triune self, I gain a more comprehensive sense of wholeness in my relationship with Him. I don’t run to the mountains to escape the troubles of this life anymore. Now, I go to the mountains to run to my heavenly Father because my heart can trust Him.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30