“Then in the Spirit He conveyed me away to a vast and lofty mountain and exhibited to me the holy city of Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God”.
Mountains are often known for their majestic beauty. They are often referred to as a place for people to go for a retreat; for prayer; a place of solitude; for refuge; and for safety.
In central Greece there are monastic structures on the top of a gathering of pillar mountains. According to the website wikipedia.com, “Studies suggest that the pinnacles were formed about 60 million years ago during the Paleogene Period.” The Meteora is one of the largest and most important complexes of Greek Eastern Orthodox monasteries in central Greece. Meteora in Greek literally means: “middle of the sky”, “suspended in the air”, or “in the heavens above”.
The story goes: “Access to the monasteries was originally (and deliberately) difficult, requiring either long ladders lashed together or large nets...This required quite a leap of faith--the ropes were replaced, so the story goes, only...when the Lord let them break...”.
The exact date of the founding of the monasteries is unknown. By the 14th century there were more than twenty. Six have endured the test of time, and many, many prayers have been offered up to the heaven above to God from the top of those particular mountains. Currently, they are accessible by “staircases cut into the rock formations”, and they are popular tourist magnets.
In the Old Testament in the Book of Psalms, David referred to the mountains as a place where he sought refuge and safety from his enemies. He also stated: “I cried out to the LORD, and He answered me from His holy mountain.”. He referred to Mount Zion, as being the “the holy mountain” as the “city of the great King!”.
In the New Testament, Jesus often went up the mountain to pray. He also took His disciples with Him up the mountain, and He would sit with them to pray. One day He took James, John, and Peter up on the mountain to pray, and “to show them who He really was (NLT)”. It was during that time, on that mountain top, that Jesus was transfigured. His “countenance became altered, and His raiment became dazzling white. Then Moses and Elijah, appeared and began talking with Jesus (AMP).”.
While the majority of God's people will not visit Greece to see the monastic structures on the mountain tops, as individuals, they will have many personal mountains to climb such as illness, discouragement, and hopelessness. God's community of believers may go to the their personal mountain top to find refuge and safety, and to pray, just as David and Jesus did. Millie Stamm stated: “We, too, need the transformation, that comes from prayer. Fellowship with Christ through prayer transforms our character so that we reflect the glory of the Lord.”
God is reaching down with His ladder to you from the heaven above. This is the way up to surmount the mountains as you face them. Through your prayers, you are able to obtain His comfort, peace, wisdom, and security.
Lord God, thank You for continuing to reach out to us. Help us to always grasp Your extended hand. Amen.
~ Ann Brock Ludington