The prophet Micah said, “Let us go to the mountain of the Lord.” (Micah 4:2). “In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and the peoples will stream to it…Come let us go to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob.” In the Psalms we read, “I look to the hills, where does my help come from. My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Ps 121:1). This psalm is one of the psalms of ascent written for the pilgrims as they made their way to the house of the Lord, the temple in Jerusalem. It was on the top of the highest hill. This is where God reigns so often as written in scripture. This is also where I love to go to find a special time with the Lord in his awesome creation in the mountains of Montana. Here the mighty Missouri River carves its way between the mountains’ majesty.
I make this trip every year to join my two sons and their families as they have married Montana women. We all love the beauty and the hiking, hunting and fishing in God’s wilderness under the “Big Sky.”
Last fall I trekked once again to Montana to help my son finish a house he was rehabbing. We took out time to hike high above the valley to the top of the Highwood Mountains . They were green with scrub sage and moss above the verdant spruce tree line and golden Aspens. As we sat on a huge summit boulder watching a soaring golden eagle flying into the setting sun, the Psalmists word came alive again. “Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep.” Ps 36:6. We were in awe at the beauty and peace in the quiet of the moment. The bright yellow blazes of Aspen splashed through the evergreens below as they that came up again the cobalt sky. We had not seen the bull Elk we were tracking with bow, but that hardly mattered.
We paused in silence to praise God for His creation and presence. “For in His presence is fullness of joy and at his right hand pleasures forevermore” (Ps 16:11).
Once more at the base of the mountain we made a brief stop at our favorite trout stream to catch a dinner of brown trout. This little creek meanders through the high plains grasses along the Belt Mountain foothills beside a buffalo ranch. We wore hip boots to wade and to protect us from the ever-present rattlesnakes in this dry cliff valley. Quickly a “canary yellow” brown took my grasshopper and dinner was in the bag. One more stop at the micro brewery in the town of Cascade to pick up a couple of growlers of Belgian White made our dinner complete.
Once home we bathed in the twilight and beauty of our afternoon, knowing that we had just experienced how long, wide, high and deep is the love of God.