Day 61: Numbers 28-29; Mark 9:2-29

"Rabbi, it’s good for us to be here. Let’s set up three shelters..." (Mark 9:5, CSB)

It seems ironic that we are reading about the celebration of the Festival of Shelters (Numbers 29:12-40) on the day we read Peter's spontaneous outburst. Shelters was a reminder to Israel through their history that God provided shelter, food and clothing for His children through 40 years of wandering in the wilderness...indeed, their sandals didn't even wear out (Deuteronomy 29:5). God not only saved them out of their wilderness wandering, He took care of them completely, head to sole. They needed reminders of these moments of their history of God's deliverance and provision.

If there was ever a wilderness season in Israel's history and spiritual journey, the time of Jesus' physical presence on earth was just that. It was a season of spiritual drought. There is no adequate terminology to describe what happened on that 'mount of transfiguration' when the glory of God's presence shrouded that small band, and eternity entered a finite moment in unspeakable splendor. You just had to be there. Presence! God's presence! God's tangible presence! I'm with Peter. Let's just stay right here forever!

Recently, I listened to a podcast about the experience of people I know who visited Asbury in the (hopefully ongoing) outpouring of God's Spirit. Presence. The comment was made: I just wanted to pitch a tent and stay there. But, God would not let me. I get that!

What did the disciples come down from the mountain to face along with Jesus? Hell itself. Absolutely no fun, no glory, no delight. Wait just a moment! There was glory! The demonstration of this truth: Jesus is Lord! There is no power, not even hell itself, that can touch His power. He is mighty and mighty to save! And, while I am glad for the moments of His glorious presence, and while we have festivals and seasons to remind us, I am so grateful for His everyday presence, for victory and empowerment and salvation and healing in the midst of the mess and turmoil and pain.

Indeed, the God of the mountain is the God of the valley! Thanks be to God for the indescribable gift of His Presence...always!

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