“Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed.” (Isaiah 40:3-4)
“I am so exhausted!” said my dear friend and prayer partner some weeks ago. “My job takes everything out of me. The meetings. The long hours. The paperwork. My boss.
“I feel like God wants me to go to seminary and serve in leadership in my church, but I don’t know how that’s ever going to happen. I don’t have the energy or even the time to take that first step.”
Unfortunately, I often feel the same way my friend does. Overwhelmed. Stressed. Anxious. Frustrated. Worried that I’ll never be able to serve the Lord the way He wants me to.
After speaking with my friend and spending some time alone in prayer, the Lord assured me that He could move the mountains in our lives to not only serve him in ways we never dreamed of, but we could ask Him for the seemingly impossible and He would do it (Luke 1:37).
First, the Lord reminded me that all we need is faith as small as a mustard seed and say to the mountains in our lives, “Move from here to there, and [they] would move. Nothing would be impossible” (Matthew 17:20-21). But God said only his Spirit would move our mountains, not our own strength (Zechariah 4:6).
The Lord showed me just how powerful He is when it comes to moving mountains in the book of Zechariah concerning Zerubbabel, whose mission was to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem after the release of the children of Israel from Babylonian captivity. Zerubbabel faced great opposition, but the Lord assured him, “Nothing, not even a mighty mountain will stand in Zerubbabel’s way; it will flatten out before him!” (Zechariah 4:7) In other words, the temple would be rebuilt by the power of God, and nothing would stand in the way.
God reminded me of a similar situation Nehemiah faced when the people of Israel returned to Jerusalem following Babylonian captivity. Nehemiah, a mere slave at the time, prayed his heart out, asking God to give him favor in the eyes of the King so he could ask him for the seemingly impossible: to take time off to oversee the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls that were destroyed during the Babylonian invasion; for protection while he traveled to Jerusalem; for permission to haul timber to reconstruct the walls and build a residence for himself (Nehemiah 1; 2:1-8).
And guess what? The Lord gave him favor, and the King gave Nehemiah everything he asked for (Nehemiah 2:1-10). But the story doesn’t end there. Nehemiah faced great obstacles. The enemies of Israel fought him and the Jewish people tooth and nail to stop them from rebuilding the city walls. But despite the fierce opposition, the walls were eventually rebuilt. God’s ultimate will prevailed (Nehemiah 4, 5, 6).
The lesson for us all is that no matter what mountains or obstacles we face (ex., a tremendous workload, a job loss, limited resources, family opposition, physical/mental exhaustion, or even depression), just know the work God has prepared for us to do will be completed. His work through us may experience delays, but in the end we will complete all the tasks he gives us as we persevere and don’t give up. And if we ask Him for the seemingly impossible, He will do it. Why? Because God’s plans can’t be stopped (Job 42:2)!