“Listen! My beloved! Behold, He is coming,
Climbing on the mountains,
Leaping on the hills!”
— Song of Solomon 2:8
When faced with difficulties in my life, my spiritual theme song always used to be “Climb Every Mountain,” which many of us heard in the movie The Sound of Music. Then one day, I learned that God often meant for us to move those mountains, rather than to be so quick to climb them. Though this book is about moving mountains, I have found, however, that there are some mountains that block our way that God may have meant for us to climb. What exactly do I mean?
You’ve heard of people who one day go to the altar and are not only gloriously saved, they are instantly delivered from some sin or disease. Yet, in the same church, there are other poor souls who have believed God for years to be delivered from something but are instead called to work through it—in other words, climb their mountain. How many of you, who are Restoration Fellowship members, have had an ePartner who reads just part of the restoration materials, and she instantly gets her marriage restored (within weeks or months of applying them half-heartedly) while you, on the other hand, have been working through the principles, and dying to self, for years?
In this chapter I realized again that God does not always ask us to move every mountain, but will, in fact, sometimes call us to climb it. In chapters 5 and 6 of this book, you learned about the honeymoon that did not take place but was miraculously transferred to another son, but what you didn’t know about was what triggered a chain of events, which became a mountain He asked me to climb.
After witnessing such a magnificent mountain falling into the sea just days earlier, which created an atmosphere of faith so thick you could feel it, I was overflowing with faith that was at an all-time high. However, with one mountain safely in the sea, its absence revealed a new and larger mountain. What was worse is that, as I spoke to this new mountain, it did not fall but stood higher and more foreboding than anything I thought I would ever have to tackle in my lifetime. It knocked me harder than anything, and I mean anything, that I have lived through thus far in my life.
Having been in ministry for so many years (almost two decades now), and the majority of it spent in sowing into helping marriages for most of those years, I always told the Lord the same thing, “If I have gained any rewards at all, then let these rewards be applied to my children—by blessing them with good marriages.” In addition, I (through the grace of God) did all the “right things” when raising them. I know that many of you were not Christians when you raised your children, and often you find that you are reaping some tremendous difficulties that you can merit to what you had sown. However, what if you apparently did everything right, but then you still find that things are not happening according to your plan, or should I say your plans for your children?
Prior to my sons marrying, I had real doubts, mostly due to the “sins of the father” on our side, and on the other side (of one) there was a pattern of a mother leaving husbands and repeatedly remarrying. One day, I sat down with this couple to share my concerns that they would fall into the same sins—unless they completely trusted and relied on God. I remember my son saying, “Mom, you’re scaring me,” and I replied, “Then use it to remain motivated to trust God—because your marriage will end in divorce if He doesn’t stop it.”
Though I had God’s promises that He would bless my children, I had dozens of promises I believed for them, along with what I thought was a good amount of sowing strong principles into each of their lives. Plus, I had the promise of training my children the way they should go: Proverbs 22:6. To me, there was no doubt in my mind that I had my children’s futures all sown up, and yet, I saw this mountain that was clearly there in my son and his soon-to-be bride’s life.
When some issues began to appear, coupled with our concerns, I knew all I had to do was watch and wait for God to stop the marriage that was so risky. Not only did I have superb faith, but so did his siblings. Unfortunately, I heard that one went to talk to his brother and tell him that, in light of what was already happening, he simply couldn’t marry her. Yet, my son said he was committed.
Years ago, I learned, and then taught women, that when you try to stand in the way of wickedness, it only increases the intensity for them to seek what you are trying to block. However, with what I learned and understood, with the lack of faith that I once possessed, I would have panicked, thinking that my son (by speaking to his brother) had caused it to happen for sure, rather than stopping it. Yet, instead of worrying, I knew that when it is God’s will, and we simply want His will above anything else, then our trust in Him will cause right to overrule the wrong. Did you know that?
Goodness, mercy, righteousness, all the things that come from God are so much more powerful than evil. There is simply no contest, none. As a matter of fact, God’s power of goodness is so great that He can take the bad and turn it around for good, based on just one promise: Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Now I find that this verse is the story of my life. God has allowed the sins of relationships to invade my life on purpose, to show me, and you, the power of His taking things that are bad and turning them for good.
Whether or not God chose to turn anything for good, I knew what I had to do: once married, both of my sons’ brides would be my daughters, just as if I had given birth to each one of them. Both of them would each be “one with their husbands,” my sons.
And so, according to His perfect plan, both weddings took place as planned, just a day apart.
It was only after they were married that God reminded me about King David, who had appealed to God for mercy to save his dying son. Everyone panicked when they heard that his son had, indeed, died and wondered what kind of “madman” David would become, because they had seen how he reacted to his illness. But instead, they found David dressed and in good spirits. David explained that when there was a chance that God would hear him, he would lament, but when he saw that God had made His decision, by his son dying, then it was no longer time to mourn.
This was the way God was telling me how we all were to conduct ourselves (my children and myself), once the marriage had taken place. God had made His decision, knowing there was more than enough faith, more than enough time, more than enough opportunity to stop the marriage, if it had been His will. But He hadn’t, so we knew for certain that this was HIS plan for my son to marry. Our only response had to be to embrace, with compassionate love, God’s choice for my son’s wife. Though I had my doubts, concerns and fears, over time, I discovered that this young woman was His clear choice and who would complete my son. It just took time for this truth to unfold, after watching my son be asked to climb a similar mountain to mine.
Yet, at the time, within an hour of the realization that my son had actually married, which meant that the mountain had not fallen into the sea, I sat in my room, alone, stunned as the reality of it all became just too real, and my tears began to give way.
It took only a few minutes for my tears to stop, when I heard the Lord’s still, small, sweet voice say, “Are you done? Now, tell me why you are crying?” If you heard this, you may dismiss it as a sign that this is not God talking to you at all, since, of course, He knows “why” (He knows everything); so why would He ask? But that is just biblical ignorance. You don’t have to get far in the Bible to read that God called to Adam and Eve, when they had sinned and were hiding, asking them, “Where are you?” when, of course, He knew right where they were.
Knowing His question was more for me than it was for Him, I had to ask myself why. Why was I crying? So, I answered Him saying, “Because I didn’t want it to turn out this way.” “What way did you want it to turn out, Michele?” I really couldn’t express it, so He went on and asked me, “Was it that your son would live ‘happily ever after’—is that how?” Yes, that was really it. I wanted all of my children to have happy marriages: free from all the junk I had fought so hard to not give to them. Yes, that was it.
Yet the Lord pressed further, deep into the depths of my heart, when He asked, “Is this really what you’ve always wanted?” His question made me dig a bit deeper into the recesses of my heart (that was terribly hurt), when I said, “What I really want, and what has been my passion for as long as I can remember, is that my children have a walk and intimacy with You, my Darling, like no one who has walked the face of this earth. I want them to go beyond where I have gone. That is what I want above anything else.”
My Husband then asked, “And how do you experience this kind of intimacy? Is it by living ‘happily ever after’? Or will deep intimacy with Me develop by traveling through the difficult valleys and experiencing pain that you have experienced?” I didn’t have to answer. I knew how my son would experience the closeness I wanted for him. I knew the only way to learn was to hold onto and embrace His Father—which would happen during the very tough times—valleys, I sensed, He wanted me to know were up ahead.
Yes, my son knows Him well, but not in the way that those of us who have held the hand of sorrow and suffering know Him. And, yes, this is what I wanted for him. Yes, this is the mountain that my son was chosen to climb, and I, too, will climb a parallel mountain as I watch him, silently.
In all my seeking, the Lord has opened my eyes to some incredible things that all of us need to look at, when we have a mountain that fails to move but, instead, is a mountain we are called to climb.
First, how many of you have had an “unplanned” or even “unwanted” pregnancy, only to find that, once your unwanted or unplanned child was born, that child was more of a blessing than you could have ever imagined? Not only did it change you, and improve your quality of life, but it also changed your entire family and everyone whose life that child of yours touched.
This also happens with children who are taken from us prematurely: it changes our family, often an entire community, and sometimes the world, but especially—us. Though we would never have chosen that path or circumstance for ourselves, it was something that, though difficult, changes lives and makes us forever different.
How many of you have a child that was injured or harmed physically, mentally and/or emotionally, either in the womb, during childbirth, as a baby, in their early years, or maybe just recently? I can say with a small measure of experience that these children are so trying, and take so much additional energy, that it keeps us clinging onto God—but that’s the point, isn’t it? So much of the heartache is due to our wanting that child to be made right or made whole; however, in most of the cases that I know or have personally experienced—I see in these special children a “childlikeness” that causes them to be especially sensitive to the things of God, spiritual things, and an intimacy that very few of us realize in our lifetime.
Since this is what we, as Christian mothers, desire more than anything in the world for our children (to know and experience the Lord in a supernatural way), then in many ways, these children are the ones we should be the happiest for, shouldn’t we? And yet, we can’t help wishing, hoping, praying, and yearning that God would heal them, make them whole, so that their “quality” of life might be like everyone else’s, like our other children perhaps. Here I am speaking to you, when the truth is, I am speaking to myself as a mother.
It might be that healing or being made whole has nothing at all to do with my children or yours, but it has everything to do with you and me. Whether it is in dealing with someone in your family or if it actually is you who needs to be healed and made whole, God has a road to health and healing that I personally have been asked to travel along for quite some time. But that is another book perhaps. Coming back to this topic…
Though the wife my son married caused me great concern, and their marriage was a mountain I desperately wanted to send to the depths of the sea, I know full well that she will end up being the most blessed “unplanned” event, who will turn out to be the daughter of my dreams. Her presence in my son’s life, in my family’s life, and especially in my life, I’m certain, will prove to be what changes us and increases our quality of life—I know, because it already has! One of its first blessings has been in watching my children accept and love (beyond measure) their new sisters, both in exactly the same way, which I can’t even express on paper.
This mountain is one that my son is just beginning to climb and one that I am now excited to climb by his side, silently watching. I know how it will change all of us, by creating the greatest of intimacy with my HH and their Father, which truly has been, and will always be, the deepest desire of my heart.
Epilog to this Chapter
Soon after my son and his wife were married, they were blessed with a son. Months later, just as I’d forewarned, my daughter-in-law left my son and filed for divorce. Remember what I said prior to the conclusion? When I said, “I, too, will climb a parallel mountain, as I watch him, silently.” I suppose that was my mountain to climb. To watch but to remain silent, watching the suffering as my son lost his wife and baby boy. Nevertheless, even though my son never sat down and read the men’s Restore Your Marriage book, I began to see how its truths were followed. I realized that as I lived and spoke about the principles so often, as my son was growing up, without planning to, he instinctively began following its principles.
Months after their divorce, after I was back living in the U.S. again, was when my son chose to confide in me. He shared how he’d “lost his faith” not in God, but in His desire to restore his marriage, after he’d fasted and begged God not to allow the divorce to go through. But it had. It was while I was in Europe that I experienced something quite similar, falling into applying a well-known belief that we needed to tell God what we wanted, claim it and it would happen. Yet, like my son, it hadn’t happened and it completely broke me.
Sharing my understanding, because I really did understand, led to my son then opening up to me that he was at a loss to know what to do next. Because he asked, I knew it was time to help guide him the rest of the way. “…always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (1 Peter 3:13-15).
I explained that He would create a type of crisis, allowing him to follow the Lord and navigate through it using wisdom, and it would result in God restoring his marriage. A crisis did follow just days later, and even though I was speaking, sharing principles and listening to what my HH and His Father was saying, I did much more “watching” my son climb, until, I watched, we all watched, GOD restore his marriage. And, just as He promised, a double recompense followed. Not only was my son reunited with his son, soon after their restoration, God blessed them with a second son.
Today we all are one family, living under one large roof, closer than ever, with more love for each other—more than anything I could ever have dreamed way back while looking at a mountain that He meant for us to climb.
Ephesians 3:20, “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us...”
TLB, “Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.”
The Message, “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!”
And finally, Isaiah 30:18, “Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; how blessed are all those who long for Him.”