Summary: This Sermon draws attention to the fact that there is a place where God comes to meet you.
Where the Desert Meets the Mountain
Text: Jeremiah 13:16
Give glory to the Lord your God, before He cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, He turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.
For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places, and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.
In 1998 I spent several months traveling in the Southwestern United States. One of the things I noticed about this area of the country is that it is either a desert environ or a mountainous region. Both of which presented a parallel to how we view our journey with God. It seems we are either on the mountain or in the desert. We are either on top of the world, or trying to survive in a dry, barren land.
It was while driving through a particular region of constant change from one extreme to the other that I noticed something that sparked in me the realization of a great spiritual truth. That truth is “Sooner or later you come to where the desert meets the mountain.” I want to share that truth with you right now.
In this life we have mountain top experiences. Those times when we stand above the clouds and see the sun shining. We forget about the trials and troubles we faced, and the cares of life that weighed us down. We forget about the attacks the enemy has made against our soul. We enter into a time of rejoicing because the shadows, which would encompass us, are gone. We forget that the clouds and the desert that lies beneath.
The Desert of Life is a place of trial. It’s easy to remember the mountain when you are in the desert. On the mountaintop it was cool and comfortable. In the desert it is hot and dry. The desert parches the body and soul. It tests the limits of the soul to survive. The heat drains your strength, it saps the spirit, and it dries the soul. The desert is a place of temptation and trial. Nothing appears as it really is. The “Mirage” tricks the mind into believing in an illusion.
Even though we would rather be on the mountaintop than in the desert there are a few startling similarities between the two.
1. Both are barren
Above a certain height nothing can grow
Little or No life can exist in the two extremes
2. Both rob you of your breath
Mountain – Lacks oxygen
Desert – Heat Exhausts the O2 Levels
3. Both Present Illusions to the Mind
The Clouds cover reality
The Mirage presents a false reality
4. Both distract from the place Where the Desert Meets the Mountain
There is a place of refreshing, a place where we are revived. It is the place where the Desert and the Mountain Meet. There is a point, a line that you cross when you come off the mountaintop or leave the desert that is a place of beauty. It is a place where the water is cool, the grass is green, the trees grow tall, and the air is fresh. It is the place where birds sing, the deer plays and the body finds rest. It is that place where everything is perfect. The tranquility enraptures the soul and our strength restored. It is the Utopia of the spirit. It is the Garden where God comes to visit.
On the Mountain He Commands. (Moses Obtains the Law)
In the Desert He Chastises. (Paul went to the Desert)
In the Garden, He communes. (Genesis 1)
Conc: “In the Garden”
And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
No other has ever known