Lofty Mountain Grandeur

Monday, July 26, 2010
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Psalm 95:1,4 – Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him. (NIV)

Throughout the Daily Devotional tour of central Europe and the Oberammergau Passion Play, I noticed that I was conscious of being constantly in prayer, the way I feel I always ought to be. Often, I found myself looking at my watch, subtracting six hours, thinking of what our family and friends at home might be doing, and praying for them. Perhaps this constant prayer has been because of being in foreign lands, out of the normal routine at home, and/or experiencing things I've never imagined me doing, like learning to trust God on the heights of a cable car in the Swiss Alps! It was such a natural thing to be prayerfully singing in my heart so many choruses and anthems of praise at the sights and sounds I was experiencing. I believe that God was speaking to me through His creation and bringing them to my remembrance now that I had finally "slowed down".

As well, the beauty of God's creation — tiny birds chirping, snowy peaks, green meadows, serene lakes, rushing streams — filled my being with awe for our awesome God. I found myself constantly thanking and praising Him! The words of How Great Thou Art (from two different verses!) came alive with fresh and new meaning!

    Oh Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder,
    Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made,
    When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
    Thy power throughout the universe displayed,
    Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee.
    How great Thou art, how GREAT Thou art!

Standing in the midst of those glorious peaks also brought back to my memory an old song that I used to sing as a Girl Guide, about the International Girl Guide/Girl Scout house, "Our Chalet", built in Adelboden, Switzerland, in 1932. Suddenly it was so real.

    High up, high on the mountain,
    We'll go to our Chalet,
    Its sloping roof and wide
    Shall shelter us without a care.
    And each and every Girl Guide
    Shall find a welcome there.

Recalling having read in the biographies sent to us before the trip that Val used to be quite involved in Guides as well, I found her at the 10,000 foot level, and asked if she remembered ever singing "Our Chalet". Suddenly, as I sang a verse to her, a flood of memories came back, evident by her giant smile. She, too, had forgotten it, but fond memories returned. The reality of experiencing such a location touched us both.

Yet, when I reflect on the thrill of looking down from "lofty mountain grandeur" and bringing joy to another former Girl Guide by reviving forgotten memories of "Our Chalet", I realize that it can't compare with the even greater joy of sharing my faith with someone. Throughout the years, it has been natural for me to enjoy sharing the wonders of God's world with children, and now, with our two granddaughters, relating how great our awesome Creator God is, as displayed through His creation. It brings a deep, real joy to see the awakening of their awareness and appreciation of who He is.

As we have opportunity, let us take advantage of such teachable moments to proclaim to others who our God is and how He reveals Himself to us. No doubt about it — our God is an awesome God!

Prayer: Our most precious and awesome heavenly Father, we thank You for how You reveal Yourself to us daily through Your creation. Help us to notice and share the details that You have included in what You have made. May we share our joy in knowing You, the creator of both the great and small. You truly are an awesome God! We proclaim with the Psalmist, "Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him." (Psalm 33:8b RSV) Through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.

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Mary Lou Tompkins <>
Lindsay, Ontario, Canada

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