“You will say to this mountain,
‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move;
And nothing will be impossible to you.”
— Matthew 17:20
It was actually several chapters ago, and even more alarming, six months ago that I actually wrote the majority of this chapter. It was chapter 12 then, when I first began writing “Mountain Moved.” "To prove that I still have “the faith of a child” even though I am now in my fifties, after chapter 11 was posted on the RMI site and my mountain hadn’t moved (my debt had not been thrown into the depths of the sea), I posted a (note this is singular) testimony from a ministry member who watched God do the impossible, and her mountain of debt was thrown into the sea. She wrote to tell me her father had sold some property and gave her cash to buy her home—her marital home that the courts said had to be sold so the money could be split with her ex. Instead of selling, she bought her husband out and now completely owns her home!
The next week, when my mountain again hadn’t moved (but now I was so sure than ever it would!) I posted a second testimony from a member who told of a similar story. Her home had gone into foreclosure and in the “twelve-hour” someone had come to pay off their home entirely! My faith was soaring. Then, with a sigh, the third week found me gathering even more testimonies that had come into RMI, and as I posted each, I was still believing God for my Jonathan and my mountain moved. Yet, even in the midst of all the evidence that He’d do the same for me, I began to really wonder if He would do this for me.
Why share all this with you? Why not keep it to myself?
Well, most people, I imagine, would keep it to themselves or pretend to never doubt. But I found out just recently that I am known for being completely “transparent.” Transparent is a lot like letting people see you underdressed or without your makeup on or letting your hair down—I think you get the point. But more importantly, I believe that you need to know, and I need to remember, that things just don’t happen as quickly as we want them to or hope they will.
Looking at the facts, and facing my situation honestly, I basically believed things just couldn’t get any worse; therefore, they had to get better: meaning, the mountain would soon, very soon, move or fall!
I was wrong.
If that is not bad enough, I, only a few days ago, was going to change the name of this chapter to “Mountain Crumbling!” Though it hadn’t fallen in one mighty swoop, it was crumbling slowly but surely.
The first boulder that fell was when a credit card company contacted me and offered, I didn’t even have to ask, to lower the percentage rate, and not only that—they backed this rate up to when I had opened the account, which saved me thousands of dollars!! This all occurred due to my not being able to pay the minimum amount, which I had prayed in earnest about (as to what I should do). Is this encouraging or what?
The second boulder that fell was even more incredible! Another credit card payment I could not pay, but this one led me down, down, down through a familiar valley of humiliation. The credit card company told me they could not “work with me” because I was not the “primary” cardholder; my ex-husband was. It took two days of speaking to the Lord about this, to be absolutely sure I understood what He was actually asking me to do, before I moved forward and did it.
In a moment of sheer humility, which felt like total humiliation, I had to write an email explaining the situation to both he and his wife. Why? Because though he had ruined my credit when he divorced me, with an extra lawsuit crippling me financially, I knew that not letting him know I couldn’t make the payment had the potential of hurting his credit. Do I need to remind you of what Jesus said? “You have heard that it was said, ‘an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth’ But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also” (Matthew 5: 38–39). So, I got close enough to get slapped and boy was it a doozy.
As I began to compose the email I could hear the “I told you so” because my ex-husband assured me when he left me that my crazy, overzealous ways would someday result in my losing everything. But now looking at this verse in Matthew, I see that I needed to be willing to put myself in a place to get slapped again (in the figurative sense).
To make it even more difficult to do the right thing, do you remember when you read about my daughter’s Johnathan in the last chapter? Would you believe that this occurred at the very same time I needed to send this email? In other words, here I was writing to tell my ex-husband I couldn’t “afford” to pay a credit card bill, yet I was about to take a weeklong Florida vacation!!
Okay, sure, I felt I needed to explain. I even went so far as to write a P.S. fully explaining that the trip was given to us, all expenses paid, blah, blah, blah—that I later removed. Why? It only took reflecting on it a moment to hear what I had told my daughter just weeks earlier, “The people who want to believe the worst in you, will. The people who want to think the best of you, will. Therefore, you need to rid yourself of worrying what other people think and just focus on your relationship with the Lord, which makes you know you are in right standing with God, your Father.”
I suppose it goes without saying that sending an email like this, right before my “vacation” had the potential of ruining our trip while I was waiting for the reply. However, after a day of thinking about it, I finally was able to fully surrender it to my Husband. Is He faithful? You bet!! I didn’t get my reply until the day after we returned home. And to my utter surprise, shock is more the word, I got a short email that I had to read several times before it seemed real: “We are taking care of the credit card situation so that burden is lifted from you. Have a wonderful Christmas with the children.”
Now can you see why I planned to rename this chapter “Mountain Crumbling”? Though I still had plenty of debt, it appeared that God had begun to turn the tide and my mountain was indeed crumbling and would soon fall completely. That was then, but oh so suddenly the enemy reared his ugly head! My ex-husband? Oh, no my dear, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Almost a month after my Merry Christmas email, I received a follow up email that made my heart faint within me. It stated that I had been turned over to the fraud department, they were advised to report the card as stolen, was told that I had misled them, and so on and so forth. And for two days I fought trembling when that boulder, which was falling, hit me—months of payments were charged back to the merchants and they wanted their money, all of it, now! The credit card company sent me a copy of the handwritten letter my husband sent them, explaining the card had been stolen from his wallet, and he wanted an arrest warrant issued. The police were coming to arrest me, so I had to tell my son so he knew what to do, because I was concerned the minor children would be taken into custody.
What of the other boulder that I thought fell? When the next statement came it did not have a reduced amount, nor did it state that I had received a reduced percentage rate. As a matter of fact, the rate had increased by 4%...
When we hear the testimonies of faithful men and women who God has used to bring about the miracles that give us our spiritual strength and the courage to face our own mountains, I believe we often forget that these were real people who really were experiencing the very real possibility that their mountain may not fall—their miracle or deliverance may just not happen. And, in response to walking out their beliefs, things actually got terribly worse.
We see it with those awesome young Hebrew boys. Note their words while standing before the king about to meet their death, or deliverance, but experiencing something far greater. “Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up’” (Daniel 3:16–18).
Are we so foolish or ignorant to think that our Bible heroes, or today’s heroes of faith, do not experience the same questions, doubts, and emotions that you and I feel when facing a mountain? When we are put in a place of defeat, destruction, or even embarrassment as we stand before our mountain, or before our furnace, we know that the God we serve is able to deliver us, but will He? Like the young boys, what matters is that we stay true to our beliefs no matter what God chooses to do or not do for us.
As I finish this book, I am still not sure which it will be for me. I had no idea if I would write the testimony of my mountain of debt falling into the sea, or if I would instead post this chapter on my site, ending with still “hoping against hope” (Romans 4:18) from the cell of the local jail. But last night I came to an amazing revelation that took me by surprise. This thought had me blubbering like a baby, and even now I am having trouble containing my tears enough to try and get my thoughts and feelings down on paper.
Over the past few days, this weekend specifically, I was at a wedding where I spoke to so many people with whom I hadn’t seen or spoken to for several years. As we got reacquainted and I shared just where I had been and why they hadn’t seen me, they inevitably asked if my husband (saying his name) traveled with me. This led me to tell them what had happened (my husband divorcing me and marrying the woman he was involved with and the financial crisis I was facing), and it took them by surprise—actually shock was more their response.
However, each time I was able to share with them just a few highlights of what the Lord had done for me: the person who I now am, and the blessing of being His bride (wanting no other), when they asked if I had married again (seeing the ring I wear as a sign that I am “taken” and not available).
All this reminiscing really stayed in my mind, and then just last night, I realized that the “love affair” that I had been experiencing with the Lord was the thing that I was most grateful for. Yet, the second just as precious, was what I discovered and what made me weep last night. Due to the divorce, I was put in a place of being able to choose to walk in unknown danger and peril.
For the first time since I had lived with my parents, I no longer had anyone stand in the way of me doing the most radical, most zealous, most foolish things I have been allowed to do. And the gratitude was all due to the years of being married, feeling imprisoned, because I longed to take God at His Word to the point that I would have everything to lose if He didn’t show up.
As a child, or if you are married, you do not have this privilege. There is protection set in place that prevents you from radical feats, and I am sure, due to the hard fact that you and I are not (or were not) yet ready, and those radical feats would probably have turned out badly.
Yet, in the state I am in now, taking the Lord’s truth and running with it means that I can put myself in the place that I have no idea how this (or anything else) is going to turn out —no earthly idea at all! It all could end badly, but as I said to the Lord last night “I am just so terribly grateful that I had the opportunity to be just one crazy person in this world that is willing, and excited, to go out on a limb, hopefully for You, knowing it might not hold the weight of what I believe.”
There is no way I can be so lofty to think that I know for sure how it ends or that I am on the right track. Yes, when I speak from faith there is no doubt—none at all. No one but God really knows how anything will turn out, do they?
For all the hoopla, I for one am, and forever will be, grateful for this chance. Oh, my, there I go again with the tears.
Of course, it would have been easier for me to write this with a testimony done, complete, while standing, in victory, on top of my fallen mountain shouting Hallelujah. However, I just wanted you to know, and have the opportunity to profess how I really feel on this side of my mountain moving.
Whether my mountain moves or not, I will post this chapter and print this book. If it doesn’t work, it has, and had, nothing to do with the Lord’s faithfulness; it had everything to do with my own.
For you, dear bride, let me assure you that no matter who is pursuing you unjustly, who or what is standing in the way of what you know God has promised you, or how horrible the circumstances in your life are right now, God is more than able to change everything in an instant! Why is your answer veiled? Why do you still wait? Why are things continually getting worse instead of better?
Simply think back to previous times and what God did for you (and for others) to hear God say to you…
“‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope’” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Therefore, “For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal and it will not fail though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay” (Habakkuk 2:3).
And certainly, you and “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13).
And no matter what may be coming at you, remember “When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.’ Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water’” (Matthew 14:26–28). So, get out and walk toward Him. Never forgetting this final promise…
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).