Before the Mountains were Born
Last summer we went on our third annual National Park road trip. We decided to head east this year to visit the Smokies and Shenandoah. We had friends we’d be visiting along the way, so it seemed like the perfect time to cross these parks off of our bucket list.
Besides the fact that it rained for 10 out of the 14 days we were traveling, there were other reasons this wasn’t our favorite trip.
We learned a big lesson, though.
We discovered that we are definitely desert and glacier mountain people. Not tree-covered-mountain-people. Don’t get me wrong - the lush, green mountains are beautiful. But, they were also…suffocating.
We realized we need s p a c e.
We want to see the mountains, not be enveloped in them.
Mountains are breathtaking to us, my hubby and me. We live in dead, flat, brown Texas, so we have to drive pretty far to see these majestic peaks.
I’m glad we saw the Smoky Mountains, but now we definitely know that our real loves live to the west.
The Word talks about how the mountains are God’s splendor. They tremble and quake before the Lord. They are a safehaven, a stronghold. They can be fruitful or barren. They are HIS. They are moved by our faith.
But have you ever thought about how the mountains were born?
As in, they weren’t there, and then they were.
The Father gave birth to the world. What an incredible thought! And before any thing was, He thought of us and wanted to be our protector!
Psalm 90, the only Psalm written by Moses, puts our lives in a perfect, godly perspective. And these words are just as relevant for us today as they were for the Israelites thousands of years ago.
Moses starts by telling us about the majesty of God’s creation. He says the Father has been our refuge and our hiding place since before the mountains were born.
The Father is beyond the constraints of time. He lives before always and beyond forever.
Moses says that 1,000 years is like a nap to the Lord. In contrast, our lives are nothing compared to the eternal nature of the Father; the entirety of a human life can be summed up in one breath. We work ourselves to death thinking about the most trivial things, and yet our life is like a fruitful plant that is glistening and healthy one day and dead, dry, and withered the next.
Moses asks the Lord to trade his years of trouble for decades of delight and to bring joy into our lives. Because isn’t that just exactly what the Father does? He’s in the transformation business - trading sorrow for joy, shame for a double portion of blessing, orphan for daughter.
Even though our lives are practically meaningless, He still delights in bringing us JOY!
And what joy there is, friends!
A prayer of Moses, God’s proPhet; The Passion Translation
1 Lord, you have always been our eternal home,
our hiding place from generation to generation.
2 Long before you gave birth to the earth
and before the mountains were born,
you have been from everlasting to everlasting,
the one and only true God.
3 When you speak the words “Life, return to me!”
man turns back to dust.
4 One thousand years pass before your eyes
like yesterday that quickly faded away,
like a night’s sleep soon forgotten.
5–6 One day we will each be swept away into the sleep of death.
We glide along through the tides of time—
so quickly gone, like a dream that fades at dawn.
Like glistening grass that springs up one day
and is dry and withered the next, ready to be cut down!
7 Terrified by your anger, confined beneath the curse,
we live our lives knowing your wrath.
8 For all of our faults and flaws are in full view to you.
Everything we want to hide, you search out
and expose by the radiance of your face.
9 We are banished to live in the shadow of your anger.
Our days soon become years until our lifetime comes to an end,
finished with nothing but a sigh.
10 You’ve limited our life span to a mere seventy years,
yet some you give grace to live still longer.
But even the best of years are marred by tears and toils,
and in the end with nothing more than a gravestone in a graveyard!
We’re gone so quickly, so swiftly;
we pass away and simply disappear.
11 Lord, who fully knows the power of your passion
and the intensity of your emotions?
12 Help us to remember that our days are numbered,
and help us to interpret our lives correctly.
Set your wisdom deeply in our hearts
so that we may accept your correction.
13 Return to us again, O God!
How much longer will it take until you show us
your abundant compassion?
14 Let the sunrise of your love end our dark night.
Break through our clouded dawn again!
Only you can satisfy our hearts,
filling us with songs of joy to the end of our days.
15 We’ve been overwhelmed with grief;
come now and overwhelm us with gladness.
Replace our years of trouble with decades of delight.
16 Let us see your miracles again, and let the rising generation
see the glorious wonders you’re famous for.
17 O Lord our God, let your sweet beauty rest upon us
and give us favor.
Come work with us, and then our works will endure,
and give us success in all we do.