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  • mansiboegemann

Come down from that mountain.

There is a passage of Scripture that I just cannot stop thinking about. It's Luke 9:28-36, a passage entitled, "The Transfiguration."

...[Jesus] took along Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. As He was praying, the appearance of His face changed, and His clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly, two men were talking with Him--Moses and Elijah. They appeared in glory and were speaking of His death, which He was about to accomplish in Jerusalem.
Peter and those with him were in a deep sleep, and when they became fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who were standing with Him. As the two men were departing from Him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for us to be here! Let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah"--not knowing what he said.
While he was saying this, a cloud appeared and overshadowed them. They became afraid as they entered the cloud. Then a voice came from the cloud, saying: This is My Son, the Chosen One; listen to Him! After the voice had spoken, only Jesus was found. They kept silent, and in those days told no one what they had seen.

I've thought about this scene every day for at least a month. I can so easily picture the majesty of the mountains, looking much like the ones here in East Tennessee (You go with what you know, right?). And I love how Mark puts it: "His clothes became dazzling—extremely white as no launderer on earth could whiten them," (9:3). The pureness and holiness of that moment cannot be overstated.

It's like I'm there, y'all.

But let me be clear: It's like I'm there but I'm Peter.

Has there ever been a moment in your life--maybe on a vacation or a night with your friends or something else--where you've just thought to yourself, "I never want to leave," or "I want this forever"?

Of course you have. I think we all have those moments, or maybe they're as long as seasons. And we decide that this is what we want. We get comfortable in where we are and who we're with and so we just want to stay.

I remember laying on the floor of my bedroom in Uganda, begging God to let me stay just a little bit longer. I had seen and experienced Him more clearly than ever before, and it was like I was standing on the mountaintop with Jesus.

But He told me no, and I came home. Some days I'm at peace with that and other days I really, really wish I was still there.

There's a truth that I've been clinging to, though. If Jesus had given Peter what he wanted, if He had let him stay on that mountaintop, then Jesus would never have been crucified or resurrected. The veil would never have torn. The Holy Spirit never would have to come to dwell among man. Countless prophecies never would have been fulfilled.

Peter thought that the mountaintop was the best thing that could ever happen to him, and so he begged Jesus to let him stay there and build. But Peter also didn't really know what he was asking for. There was more work to be done elsewhere, work that ultimately led to something much better than a tabernacle on a mountaintop.

So, if you've recently heard a "no" from God about keeping the thing or staying in the place or being in a wonderful season, know that you're not alone. But also know that He is calling you off of that mountaintop experience into something that ultimately will be better. That doesn't mean that you won't go into the valleys every once in a while, but you can rest in the knowledge that He knows what is next, and we do not.

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