The mountain top is beautiful. It is easy to become mesmerized by it. You can see all of God’s creation completely unobstructed. Everywhere you look, there are mountains standing firm basking in the glory of their Creator. The sky is kissing our faces and painting a picture for us from our Heavenly Father. The mountain top is magnificent. No one wants to leave the mountain top, but we have to walk back down.
My husband and I went hiking in Scottsdale, Arizona and the mountains took my breath away. I wish you all could have seen how beautiful the sky was. We took our time soaking it all in and then we had to climb back down. It was exciting for a while after our hike. We had so many pictures and told our family and friends about our experience. We wanted to share with them and show them what it was like on top of the mountain. After a week or so passed, we didn’t talk about the mountain top as much. It wasn’t fresh on our minds. It didn’t take away from our experience or the memories, we were just removed from the mountain top.
What am I talking about? In our faith, we have mountain top experiences. Our girls may experience them at church camp, a student or girl’s conference, or a special call to ministry moment. We have mountain top experiences in our faith and it is almost as if life stands still. Our hearts are on fire for Christ and our view is solely focused on Christ. Nothing else is in the way obstructing our view or fighting for our attention. Our girls get time solely focused on Jesus. This experience is amazing and needs to be cherished. But—our girls won’t live at church camp or at a conference. We can’t stay on the mountain top.
We need to prepare our girls for when we leave the mountain top experiences of our faith. Especially when our girls have accepted Christ into their lives for the first time. Some may struggle with feelings of inadequacy, lack of passion, and try to chase the same feeling they felt during that one moment. We need to talk more about what the day-to-day Christian walk looks like. We need to help them navigate when family, friends, work, school, and all of their routine activities get added back into the mix. We must prepare our girls to walk back down the mountain, but remind them that we are right there with them. And we get to pump them up for how amazing it is to walk through life daily with Christ.
How do we do this? We teach them to abide in Christ.
“So now, little children, remain in Him, so that when He appears we may have boldness and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.” -1 John 2:28 HCSB
Let’s start by reminding our girls that Christ comes with us wherever we go. We can choose to have dedicated time with Him, just like we did at the mountain top. We can choose to spend time with Christ. This seems so simple, yet, it is so exciting. At the end of the day, our girls’ passion isn’t rooted in a speaker, or the worship music, or the fellowship with friends. Our girls’ passion is rooted in Christ.
We can teach our girls to start their day in God’s Word. Instead of reaching for our phones first, we can teach them to reach for their Bibles first. We can teach them how to learn more about Christ and to grow in a relationship with Him. We can ask them what they are learning in their quiet times with Christ. We can teach them that they can choose to have a similar uninterrupted time with the Lord, just like they did on the mountain top.
There is also the responsibility to remind them that things will fight for their attention. I think of my mom raising the four of us. She kept her Bible in the bathroom, just so that she could have that uninterrupted time with the Lord. Our girls may not have the same distractions as us, but they still have things fighting for their attention. Let’s help them identify those and figure out ways to have uninterrupted time in God’s Word. God’s Word will never return back void. Our girls will grow in their faith and we get to cheer them on as they navigate the best way to achieve their quiet time. It may not look the same for each girl, but we can definitely help them find what it looks like.
Secondly, we teach our girls to change their view.
The view on the mountaintop is completely unobstructed. It isn’t competing with anything else around it. Its beauty is the center of our attention. Let’s teach our girls to walk through life with a vertical view.
In my own walk with Christ and ministry, I call this looking for “God’s winks.” I think of when I am in a crowded room and my mom or one of my friends winks at me and I just laugh. In that single moment, I feel seen and loved. God has these moments with us every single day, but most of the time we overlook them.
I remember a period of my life when my family was going through a lot. It felt like when we walked out of one trial, we were just entering into the next. We didn’t even get time to take a breath. Then, one day, we were all getting into the car and one of us noticed, next to the fence, a pink flower. It wasn’t just any flower. It was surrounded by gravel, dead dirt, and rocks. Out of nowhere, in full bloom, overnight, was this gorgeous hot pink flower. It was God winking at us. Whispering to our hearts, “it’s hard now, but I have never left you and I will never forsake you.” I knew then, everything would be okay, because if a flower can grow from nothing, God can surely turn our circumstances for good. And He did.
Let’s teach our girls to look for God winks. A God wink can be as simple as the sun shining through the darkest clouds on to us. A little smile from the Lord. It can be a fat bird landing in front of our car, because if God cares for the birds and they have enough to eat, how much more will He do for His beloved children. Take the time to have your girls send God winks to each other back and forth. I do this with ladies in a Bible study group with me. When we send God winks to each other, it reminds each of us that God is still working. God can and God will, but are we watching? Are we looking for our prayers to be answered, or do we forget about them as soon as they come across our lips and our minds? We must train our hearts and minds to look for what God is doing and it helps us to be in a constant state of praise.
Let’s take the time to teach our girls to look for God working in their day to day lives. It may be harder than the mountain top because there will be distractions fighting for our attention. I believe we can encourage our girls to do it, but it starts with us.
Our daily walks with the Lord can be just as beautiful and passionate as the mountain top. The only difference is when we walk back down we have to focus more on the Lord. We must abide in Christ. We must keep a vertical perspective. We must look for God’s winks. God is there, He is just waiting for us to rest in His presence daily, just like we did on the mountaintop.
Jillian Deaton has a passion for showing people the love of Christ through speaking, writing, and everyday life. She is the wife to second lieutenant Jaxson Deaton. Jillian is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University. She is the author of Powerfully Weak, This is Why, The Four Seasons of Hope, as well as the co-author of A Bigger Purpose. She is passionate about sharing God’s Word with students and women of all ages! She believes no matter who you are or where you’ve been the Word of God is relevant to your life as you strive to live with authentic faith in Christ. Connect with Jillian: Instagram