Rocky Mountain High
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Rocky Mountain High

Since I'm here at Estes Park for a conference, I thought you might like this one from two years aglo. Blessings for your day!

My hubby and I travelled for the past several days in the western part of the United States. Our mission had 3 purposes: move the belongings of his son’s new wife, see my older daughter and her family, and attend a conference for pilots. Our trip started in Michigan, took us to Indiana, New Mexico, Colorado, then back home—driving. Ugh! I’m not a fan of long drives. For some reason, it’s impossible to pull a U-Haul trailer behind a plane and we weren't willing to pay an extra $1,000 to drop it off in New Mexico! We took time out to see some of the sights along our path. One of them was in the Rocky Mountains at Estes Park. John Denver sang a popular song that played on the radio for a very long time called, "Rocky Mountain High". Now I understand how utterly breathtaking the mountain are from that song. What a beautiful place! Winding up the mountain roads with steep curves and very few guard rails, I could see in my mind’s eye a passage of Scripture in which Jesus revealed himself in his glory to his inner circle of disciples.

Jesus and His disciples had finished a long week of teaching and miracles. In Jesus' normal fashion, He took his men away from the crowds for rest. This was something He routinely did for them. This time, they went high up on a mountain. He revealed to them that He would die and rise again while Peter, a speak-then-think sort of guy, recognized Jesus as the Messiah the week before. Keep this in mind. While on the mountain, they slept. When they woke up, they saw Jesus transfigured—His heavenly spiritual body dressed in gleaming white, whiter than any launderer could do. But He wasn’t alone, Moses and Elijah were with Him talking about His upcoming death. Can you imagine looking through blurry, groggy eyes to see this sight?

I envisioned them being up on the mountain with Jesus when we were up at the top of a mountain in the Rockies. Believe me, at over 11,000 feet above sea level, I could feel the effects of the higher elevation. I don’t know how high Jesus and the three went, but It certainly wasn’t where most people traveled. They probably hiked relatively high up to avoid having people follow them. When I was on the mountain, a part of the Colorado National Parks system, there were jagged rocks above the tree-line. A grassy area nestled within those nooks and crannies may have been similar to where they rested. It also gets colder the higher you climb.The temperature at the bottom that day was 81 degrees Fahrenheit. At the highest elevation we went, it was 55 degrees. I could see how it might take them a few days to hike up away from the population. It took us 1-1/2 hours to drive up to almost 12,000 feet above sea level. If they hiked 15 miles a day, they could easily been at a similar elevation. Then, if they weren’t tired from all their hard work, they certainly would be after climbing up a mountain to rest in thinner air. The blood pressure rises as the heart works harder with the pressure change. The oxygen molecules are spread further apart making the cardiovascular system work harder. This hike could feel as if they had just done an aerobic workout. It’s this type of environment I imagine in this scene.

When the inner circle-- Jesus’ close disciples Peter, James, and John-- saw this sight, He revealed Himself in His glory. It was no longer just Rabbi Jesus, but Jesus the Son of God, God Himself. Jesus gave them confirmation of what was yet to take place. Peter, the impulsive one, wanted to build tabernacles for each one. This implied Jesus, Elijah, and Moses were on the same spiritual level, all to be worshipped. It also implied that they would all stay up there for a long time. Did he think Jesus should just skip the death part? This passage doesn’t say. Jesus didn't correct Peter for his offer; however, God the Father interrupted their mountain top experience. This distraction and Jesus standing alone back in His earthly form, brought a dose of reality for these three men. God said that Jesus is His Son and they should listen to Him. He didn't say that about Elijah and Moses. With that note, Jesus led them back off the mountain.These three were major contributors to the founding of Christianity. If you notice, they were told to not say anything about this experience. They didn't reveal this experience until after Jesus' death and resurrection. The accounts were written by Matthew, Mark, and Luke, three men who weren’t present at the transfiguration. Peter, James, and John waited to share this account like they were told to do.

Christian concerts and conferences are much like that mountain top experience. God reveals Himself more closely to us because we stepped away from everyday life just to spend time with Him. We bask in the glow. We love it so much, we want to stay with Him on the mountaintop, but we must enter back into the “real world”. It wasn’t on the mountaintop Jesus and His disciples spent all their time. It was the refreshment and renewal they needed, so they could go back to the valley where needy souls live. It's in the day-to-day experiences with all it’s messiness that He wants us to spend the majority of our time. Don't worry, those of His who know Him as Savior will get to spend an eternity basking in His glory someday. For now, we need to go up on the mountain to be refreshed, filled up by our Savior, then sent back to be His hands,  His feet,  His voice.

May God bless you!

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