I took my husband, Greg, to the French Alps over the long weekend. You see, I had worked at a small mission station in the Haute-Savoie 40 years ago when I was studying French as a college student. I’ve been telling him about the beauty of the Alps region for almost as many years, and this was the first time we had a chance to go there to experience them together.
When we arrived it was completely clouded over. The Alps were all around us, but we couldn’t see them at all. We were staying at a small apartment just down the road from Chamonix, but still we couldn’t see even a glimpse of the mountains. The next morning we awoke and still there was fog everywhere. We drove down to Annecy, a beautiful Alpine town, but still no mountains. The next day we awoke to more clouds. We were running out of time. We decided to drive over to Chamonix and take the cable car up the mountain. We stopped in a church where the organist was playing a number by Beethoven. We sat and listened to the entire song, and then walked outside. Where there had been nothing but clouds when we went into the cathedral, there was a tiny break in the clouds and a small glimmer of mountains. We decided to go up the mountain. Maybe we could get above the clouds. Nothing! We were surrounded by white clouds! We walked around in the snow and then ate lunch, still hoping that the clouds would part. Just as we were about to give up, there they were! The clouds began to lift and the mountains were all around us! How could they have been there all the time, and yet we had no view of them at all? Greg was in awe. I told him there were mountains!
The next morning it was time to pack up to leave. Greg walked outside. Right there staring him in the face was Mont Blanc! Our apartment was up in the mountains, and we were surrounded by the most amazing view we had ever seen! How could it have been right there but we walked below without having any idea.
This reminded me of I Corinthians 13:12 where the Bible says, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” As human beings, we are so limited in our understanding of God and His plan for this world. We can barely understand just how big God is, and we definitely cannot understand all of His ways. It’s like we are walking around with clouds blocking our view of what is true and real.
In Philippians 2, it says, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”
This Christmas season, I encourage you to ask God to make the story of Jesus Christ’s birth come alive for you. I pray that you would experience sheer awe as you realize that God sent His one and only Son to become a man knowing that He would be sacrificed for your sins. I have known of the Christmas story for over 50 years, and yet I am still amazed by the immense implications of what God did. I acknowledge that I don’t understand it all, but I can’t wait until I get to see God face to face and all of my questions will be answered. I kind of think that those questions won’t even matter anymore, for then I will “know just as I also am known.”
Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon Brobst, Ed.D.