Our family went on a spontaneous trip to the Great Smokey Mountains last Saturday. We live in one of the nation's most beautiful and frequently traveled vacation destinations, yet we hardly ever go to the mountains. However, I think that is changing.
At one point, our family ventured off the trail to the creek below. Little feet followed carefully as we descended down the rocks. Hands were placed ever so pointedly to gain a steady foothold on the jagged surface. At the bottom, we sat and ate a snack while admiring the majesty of the waterfall overhead. With our eyes full of God's beauty and our bellies full of trail mix, we headed back up the rocky terrain.
I'm not much of a rock climber, but I know we needed both our feet and hands to climb up the rocks last weekend. I can't imagine making the ascent without the use of my hands.
So, the first time I heard the song above in church, I found myself scratching my head.
Worship is one of my loves. Hands lifted. Heart crying out to the Lord. Tears flowing while meditating on the greatness of His overwhelming goodness. However it is hard to raise hands and scratch your head at the same time.
The main chorus in this song is "I will climb this mountain with my hands wide open." The musical lyric baffled me.
Ironically, the beginning of the song says, "I will lean not on my own understanding." That entry should have been my mantra. However, my own understanding could not get passed how you could possibly climb a mountain with your hands open. What does that even mean?
This past Sunday, a day after our hike on a mountain, the worship team sang this song again. This time, I asked the Lord the meaning of the lyrics.
The Lord answered by playing an image in my mind. The image was a picture of me climbing a mountain, only I wasn't using my hands. Instead, He had a hold of my hands. He was leading me, showing me where to go and where to place my feet. His strength held me up and it was effortless. He was leading me over the mountain. Finally, I understood.
Often we see a mountain in our life and become overwhelmed with its magnitude. The Lord can and does remove mountains from our life. However, there are times when the Lord doesn't remove them immediately, but instead leads us over the mountain. He leads us hand in hand, showing us directly where to place our feet, steadying us with His strength, presence and love.
Why doesn't he just remove it? As we climb the mountain with the Lord, hands open, allowing our hands to align with His, we experience Him, His goodness and His faithfulness. Our faith builds and our trust strengthens as we witness His protection, provision, and purpose.
It is a miracle for a mountain to be removed. It is also a miracle to be able to climb a mountain with open hands, giving everything to the Lord, believing He will lead you safely to the other side. Letting go of everything and just trusting the Lord in the midst of a mountain is where faith is strengthened. His provision in the middle of the mountain is often the greater miracle.
The Lord wants to lead you into a deeper trust in Him. Will you let go of the rope of control, open your hands to His loving grip and let Him lead you on an adventure with Him? He's got you. He won't let you go. With Him, we can climb with open hands and there is no doubt the trail will be full of His beauty.