Sunday, March 14, 2010

Birthday Blessing

All day today, I have had a huge smile on my face, and I can't seem to figure why. This last weekend I was blessed. It has always been my desire to spend some time at Mt. Sinai...especially after an intense unit of Moses that I taught my 2nd graders during my time in North Carolina. The best weekend for the girls and I to go was this last weekend, which happened to be my birthday.

As we drove through the Sinai peninsula, my mind exploded with visions of the wandering Israelites and what it must have been like for them walking for so long, yet so in tune with God, and his personal communication with them through Moses. There I sat in an air conditioned van, listening to music, whirling through crazy Egyptian drivers, relaxed, with butterflies in my tummy. I was psyched at where I was, and all that had happened in this location thousands of years prior. I couldn't seem to wrap my mind around the fact that God is the same today as he was back then, Moses' God is my God. I mean of course I knew this, and know this, but something about being there drove it home for me...and I smiled.

Ecstatic, we arrived at the bottom of the mountain around 10pm. Although we were expecting crowds, the darkness was silent. Nothing but the cigarette smoke of security guards and their mild chatter greeted us. After a quarrelsome encounter with these men who tried to take advantage of their power and our western financial situation, we began our journey, four of us on foot, and 2 on the backs of camels. Into the darkness we trudged...nothing but pure blackness all around us. Leading us was a local tribal man who was very kind, very patient, but due to his majority beliefs, so unaware of the magnitude and honor of his job, climbing Sinai daily. My heart hurt that he did not know the true God that created him, and showed His power in that very place long long ago. This man was so close, yet so blind to the truth that could change his life.

As our minds wandered and chatter continued we stopped to catch our breath. As we turned to look beyond us, a loud gasp broke the silence. There, all around, were millions and millions of bright stars. It looked like we were standing in a galaxy in the middle of space. I have never seen so many stars...so much power penetrating from the Heaves, was this just a glimpse of the glory of our Father? We were unable to pull our eyes away from the sky. I was in total disbelief... frozen...yet smiling.

After about 2 hrs of climbing we reached a small hut where the walls were covered in colorful rugs. Small lanterns lit the cozy room made of mud blocks, and the aroma of coffee and tea filled the air. We sat to warm ourselves and gain our strength before the last 750 steps ahead. Laughing with the girls, I smiled again...even after only months, God has blessed me with an amazing community of relationships. I couldn't help but thank him for all He is doing in my life.

The hardest part of the climb was the last hour. Exhausted, sleep deprived, and freezing, we put one foot in front of the other, and finally arrived at the top. Huddling in blankets we just starred at the sky. A few minutes later Zoe my roomie broke out cupcakes she had made. As they sang me happy birthday with nothing but the light of the candle and the shooting stars above, as our light sources, I smiled. WOW.

We fell asleep to silence, but awoke a few hrs later to thousands around us who had arrived over night. Where did all these people come from? We had the best spot on the mountain, and the sun was just starting to peak.

The sunrise was breathtaking...and as I looked out at the mountains unveiling their colored yet rugged edges, I thought to myself, God knew I needed this today. God knew what it took to encourage Moses. God knew what it took to encourage me. I guess that's why I have been smiling all day. This struck a cord inside me about the personal God that knows my needs, knows my sin, and knows my name. The need to proclaim Him is vast. The harvest is plentiful...praying I tend well to the harvest before me.