Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Through It All

Daunted. That's the first thing that comes to mind when I consider the mountains that have appeared in my life.
Some have merely been scenery - backdrops to an otherwise ordinary landscape. Some I saw coming miles in advance. Yet others have been completely unexpected, as if they'd been hidden by a bend in the road, or obscured by clouds.
Rugged, often with jagged, ice covered peaks and steep slopes, the mountains of life have stopped me (and perhaps you?), dead in my hiking boots on occasion.
Traveling through Switzerland recently, I had the amazing and awe-inspiring blessing of encountering mountains like never before. Coming from Washington State as I do, where both the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges are incredibly beautiful, you'd think no mountain could impress me. I thought that too; that is, until I wound my way through the Swiss Alps - - literally and figuratively!
I've thought often of Switzerland since returning to the flatlands of the Arizona desert. My thoughts aren't fully developed as yet, but many of them center on Switzerland's well-defined tunneling systems - systems that make it possible to wind one's way through mountains. Here's a few items that I find intriguing.
  • No mountain deters the Swiss. If they can't lay a road to go over or around it, they carve a tunnel that runs right through it.
  • Some tunnels entail short treks; others are many miles long. It takes time to navigate them, sometimes with the dimmest of light.
  • Swiss tunnels are as different as the mountains they burrow beneath. Many are rather dark and foreboding. Others are well-lit, with a scenic charm all their own.
  • The weight & wonder of the mountain is always above the tunneler, yet they pass through with no sense of the heft.
  • Without their tunnels, the Swiss would have no consistent way to get between one verdant valley or lake and the next. They'd surely miss out on some incredible beauty, not to mention having their journey dead end at the mountain's insistence.

I am compelled to hum along with today's musings that soul-stirring song, Through It All. If you're navigating mountainous regions today, you might want to hum along:

So I thank God for the mountains
And I thank Him for the valleys
I thank Him for the storms
He's brought me through
Cause if I never had a problem
I wouldn't know that He could solve them
I wouldn't know what faith in His Word could do

Through it all
Through it all
I've learned to trust in Jesus
I've learned to trust in God
Through it all
Through it all
I've learned to depend upon His Word

Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your justice like the great deep.

Psalm 36:5-6

In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
Psalm 95:4

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by
every experience in which you really
stop to look fear in the face.
You are able to say to yourself,
"I have lived through this horror.
I can take the next thing that comes along." . . .
You must do the thing you think
you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt


Debbie said...

No wonder Lisa Shaw loves you so! This post blessed me and touched me this morning Kathleen. I love how you described the mountains in Switzerland and how they tunnel through them. I love the reassuring words of that song too.

You have much wisdom and I would love to get to know you better. Hmmm... maybe we need a get together in the near future. As you know, Sarah Dawn is now local too. Let me get to a place where there is a breathing space and arrange something. I think it's so good for the young ones like Sarah Dawn to be with us "older" (LOL) women. And it does me good to be with the youthful too. I learn from them. We all need teachable spirits to grow, don't we?

Love to you,

Shirley said...

Beautifully written! It ministered to me as I read it, and that song has been a favorite of mine for a long time! It has gotten we through many hard times!

Rose said...

Well what can I add to that? Nothing. What a beautiful blog. There is something about knowing that no matter how high those mountains may be, God is there, "through it all.' Amen!
Kathleen, thank you for the really kind words you posted on Manthano's blog. I so appreciate it. You and others are such a delight and encouragement to be around. Thank you! Have a blessed day!

Denise said...

Amen, I love this song, sing it alot.

Melinda said...

Through it all. Wonder if those Swiss knew they were going to provide such a splendid illustration for the Creator of those mountains?


Terri Tiffany said...

beautiful:) As always, your words touch my heart. I'm glad you had a good trip and are home enjoying your family:)

Just a little something from Judy said...

Even though the song "Through It All", is an older song, I heard it so much for a period in my life, that today, depends what I am facing, that is the song that comes to mind, and that I find myself singing many times through out my days.

This post is once again, so beautifully written. You must have been a good English student, and you continue to bless me with your Biblical insights. Thank you for that!

Runner Mom said...

WOw! Loved this, Kathleeen! Even though we have mountains in our lives to climb, pralse the Lord for those mountaintop experiences!
Love ya!

Jackie said...

Wow, what a wonderful post and a touching reminder that He always brings us through! High, low and in between He's right there beside us leading us through to victory! Glory to God!

Sweet Blessings!

Heart2Heart said...


Probably one of my most favorite posts that you have written. So much wisdom can be found just in what is here.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Technonana said...

Oh Yes Ma'am... this post reminds me of my Sweet little Canadian friend who recently posted ... and it came to pass... this too shall pass.... when we are going THROUGH it... it seems so hard, so daunting.. but then the clouds clear and we see Our Mighty, Awesome God, and the plan He has laid out before us!! Hard to accept sometimes, but we must believe that His way is best.

sonja said...

One of my favorite songs! Also, the mountains... we lived almost at the foot of the mountains in Pasadena growing up, and when I married a Texan and moved here....everything was flat. IT STILL IS!!! How I still miss the steady strength of those mountains.
Love this posting.

Nel said...

I absolutely love that song "Through it all". Thank you for such a wonderful post. I was just talking to my hubby today. He had to have laser surgery on his eye again. That is the 10th trip for that eye. I reminded him of a song I sang alot during troubled times after my hubby of 18 years left. Bend in the river of life. This is just a bend in the river of life, I'm gonna hold on tight, everything will be all right, because my God will deliver, it's just a bend in the river of life. Amazing how those songs can help us during our times of trouble. Thanks for sharing!

LisaShaw said...

I SO love you Kathleen. You drew me right into your words because your heart is so open. I grew up hearing Grandma sing Through it all...I've learned to trust in Jesus...I can hear her voice in my mind and heart right now. I thank the LORD for using you to bring back such a tender memory for me.

I love you much. I think I'll go to bed on this post.

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

oh, so beautiful! I just love this and thank you so much for posting this today!

Love that song - through it all - speaks volumes to my heart today!

Sarah Dawn said...

Rejoicing in mountains. In valleys. In the creator of them both.

And yes, i agree, this young one needs to glean from your wisdom and passionate love of God in person! (which makes me laugh, because after working with young people for many years, I'm considered the married lady:)

Joyfully His (at 33),
Sarah Dawn

Joan Carr said...

Sometimes God leads through the mountains, sometimes around the mountains, and sometimes over the mountains. I am so thankful that God leads His children in the path they must go for HIM.

I enjoyed this post and thank you for the reminder that the mountains belong to HIM.

a portland granny said...

As always, a beautiful, moving post with a great life lesson. LOved the illustration of the tunnels in Switzerland.

There is something about mountains which moves me to worship. Perhaps it is their majesty! I am fortunate to almost always see our wonderful Mt. Hood when I am out driving near my home...and often the sight draws praises from my lips as I gaze at this beauty from the hand of our God.

~*Michelle*~ said...

How awesome is this?

"Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains"

This just screams MAJESTIC to me!

I love this post...thanks so much for sharing. :)

Andrea said...

Kathleen, I have always had interest in Switzerland. Perhaps it comes from reading Heidi when I was a little girl, but I am more persuaded that it is the beauty that you speak of.

And your post metaphorically uses Switzerland's beauty in such a moving way.

I will keep your lovely words in mind and tucked in my heart for my mountain experiences.

Thank you for sharing Through It All. That song is special to me.

Much Love and Many Blessings,


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

"The weight and wonder of the mountain is always above the tunneler"-- that just grabs me. There must be a level of "trust" while going through those foreboding places. It worries me to be so confined in darkness, yet there's expectation that comes with my darkness and my tunneling through. Something I'm moving toward...

Great lessons from the Swiss mountains. A good pondering, friend.