Mountains Bow Down

Mountains Bow Down

Mountains have intensity, a power that draws you in. For some, standing and simply looking at mountains is enough. Others like to magnify that intensity by climbing up those mountains as far as they can go. Add volcanoes into the mix, especially volcanoes that have recently erupted, and boom…the feeling grows into something almost indescribable.

This past weekend, Jon and I had the opportunity to run a 21 kilometer ultra-race up and down Volcán Osorno, an active volcano in the south of Chile that stands at 2,652 meters. The race took about two hours longer than a normal half marathon thanks to the 6 kilometers that went straight up the side of the volcano! (we had to use ropes in some sections in order to scale the rocks) Other parts of the race took us through a rain forest and along a beautiful lake lined by mountains. It was an experiences equivalent to running through Lord of the Rings along with the elves, dwarves, and hobbits.

You feel something special when running on a mountain as powerful as a
volcano, even more so when the entire run is through ash/sand
(sometimes ankle-deep) left over from a volcano next door that erupted in
April of this year. The difficulty of the race can easily humble you,
but even more humbling is the idea of the power hidden inside the
volcano.

I used to think I was a beach-girl, until I met my husband and he
introduced me to the mountains. It is almost impossible to not want to worship when in a place that beautiful and that high up. I completely
understand the ancient religions of native tribes around the Andes who
worshipped the mountains or had gods of nature. How can you experience
such power and beauty and not acknowledge the presence of a greater
being?

Jesus was a mountain man too.

And how could He not be? Throughout the bible, mountains are mentioned 304 times! In the Old Testament, mountains are used to reference and display the power of God. It was on a mountain that the Ten
Commandments were given to Moses and the Israelites. It was on a
mountain that God appeared to Elijah. It was on a mountain that God
told Abraham that he did not have to sacrifice his son. Countless
times, mountains are referenced by David and Isaiah to either describe
God or reference His power. Below are a few of my favorites:

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“Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place?” Psalm 24:3
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“God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” Psalm 46:1-3
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“Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the LORD our God is holy.” Psalm 99:9
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“He  waters the mountains from his upper chambers…May the glory of the LORD endure forever, may the LORD rejoice in his works – he who looks at the earth, and it trembles, who touches the mountains, and they smoke.” Psalm 104
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“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be moved, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed, says the LORD who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54
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“Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forever.” Psalm 125
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“Let the mountains sing together for joy; let them sing before the LORD.”        Psalm 98:8-9

After reading through those verses, it is no surprise that Jesus
himself often took to the mountains to pray, to teach, or to reveal
His power like in His transfiguration or ascension. What better
symbolism is there than mountains to relate to God?

Recently, Jon and I got our just born god-daughter a sweatshirt that
reads “Take me to the Mountains.” We cannot wait to share our joy of
hiking with her once she is old enough! But even more so, we desire
for her to take to the mountains to remind herself of the strength and
love of her Savior. If Jesus went to the mountains countless times to
spend time with God, how much more so should we!

Mountains and volcanoes are incredibly powerful.

But in the words of Chris Tomlin, “Our God is Greater!”

 

We are so blessed to live in a place where getting away for a quick weekend means some pretty incredible sights. Here are a couple more photos of our adventurous KW team building weekend.

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Puerto Varas, Chile
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Early morning fishermen fishing without rods!
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Our first sighting of Volcán Osorno as the clouds cleared
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Team building bike ride of beauty and pain!
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Juanito dominated and never stopped…unless he was forced to wait for me as I walked up countless gravel-road hills
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beach and mountains = perfection
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Can’t stop taking pictures of this thing!
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Here’s the nearby Volcán Calbuco that erupted in April of this year
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Right over that mountain range behind us is Argentina!
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Ironic sign…there’s only one road
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Ready to run in the sand/ash!
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Right up the volcano! I was not smiling when I got to this section. 
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Dominated. 

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