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Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers

Exodus 4:13-14

But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses and he said, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart.”

I spent the summer of 2019 in rural Vermont with my wife, Megan, and our then three-year-old son, Micah, to begin graduate work at Bread Loaf School of English. The school was located at the top of Bread Loaf Mountain, surrounded by 55,000 acres of national forest, with Robert Frost’s cabin and favorite meadow just up the road, and we found a nearby hike so that Micah could climb his first mountain. We knew how much he’d love the view at the top, how he’d crawl around on the rocks in cat-like fashion pretending to be a mountain lion once we got there, how he’d enjoy his picnic lunch of a PB&J, a Juicebox, and chips as if it was a five-star meal, and he was excited to go at first. But about a hundred yards into the hike, the pouting starting. Then came the excuses and complaints. Then came the plopping down on the ground and refusing to go further. Eventually, I had enough. About a quarter of a mile from the top, I picked Micah up, put him on my shoulders, and said something to the effect of, “We’re going up this mountain whether you like it or not!” And that’s what I picture here in Exodus 4. Moses has just whimpered his final complaint, he’s plopped himself down for the fourth time and said, “I’m not going!”, and God’s had enough of it. He reaches down, picks his little boy up, and carries him from there—not because He’s mean, but because He’s kind. He knows the glory that awaits His son after the travail, and He loves Moses too much to leave him behind.

That’s the story of our own walk of faith, isn’t it? Some days we follow our Father’s steps with joy. Others, we pout and complain and end up riding on His shoulders. But He’s faithful when we’re faithless, and He gets us up that mountain one way or another!