Journey to Forest Peak Retreat: Mountain Top Testimony of Provision

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From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind;
from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth.
Psalm 33:13-14

As we RV’ed across the West over 20 years ago my husband and I discovered Flagstaff. Subsequently, on vacations, we visited mountain resorts and national parks with a dream of one day living in the mountains. While we had no real plan for how that may come to pass, today we live in beautiful Flagstaff in our custom home affectionately called Forest Peak Retreat. Indeed, living in the forest with a peak view of Mt. Humphrey’s is truly a life-long dream come true!

Over these many years Flagstaff was a magnet and we often returned to enjoy this highly rated “destination city” with so many interesting things to see and experience, including the Grand Canyon only an hour and half away, Sedona just a 45-minute drive through amazing Oak Creek Canyon, the National Monuments of Walnut Canyon, Sunset Crater and Wupatki, Mt Humphrey’s Snow Bowl, hiking trails galore and a captivating picture-perfect view of the San Francisco Mountains from every direction.

Our dream became a walk of faith in early 2014 when we unexpectedly sold our consulting practice of many years and began a transition that took four years to complete. In the fall of 2014 I was hiking in Lockett Meadow in Flagstaff; walking among the golden aspen shimmering in the wind, I looked up into the clouds to see this inspiring view through the aspen — my “Portal to Heaven”. Deeply moved by the thought of capturing a glimpse of heaven, with tears in my eyes I retraced my path through the aspen and evergreens breathing a prayer, “Lord, make a way for us to live here, as this is where I belong.” At that time, I was still seeking to rebrand my consulting business and our dream seemed a long way from realization. Yet the Lord was faithful in the summer of 2017 to answer that pleading prayer when we completed the construction of our new Flagstaff home, sold our Houston home and relocated. After four decades in Houston, it was no small feat to move across the country, yet all the details worked out in His perfect timing.

As I think about the prophetic fulfillment of my simple prayer among the mountain aspen in Flagstaff, I recall the many Biblical examples of the Lord’s mountaintop provision, protection, and prophetic fulfillment. In Genesis, we read how God sent Abraham to a mountaintop to sacrifice his long promised, and only son Isaac. As he climbed Mount Moriah with Isaac, in faith he told his servants to wait below and they would return. Isaac questioned as they climbed the mountain trail, “Father, where is the sacrifice?” to which Abraham reassured his son that the Lord would provide. Even as he laid his bound son on the altar and raised his knife in obedience, his faith sustained him. In that fateful moment, God called out, “Stop and look in the bush for a ram to replace Isaac.” This amazing story foretold God’s sacrifice of His Only Son, Jesus, who on Passover would become the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world and provide salvation to all who received Him.

Later Moses climbed Mount Sinai and received God’s law; with His finger, God inscribed on stone how His people were to live during the centuries preceding the arrival of Emmanuel, God with us. The Ten Commandments were His provision for the chosen people from whom Messiah would come; in God’s perfect timing He replaced the written law with grace, as Jesus carried the cross up Golgotha to become the final sacrifice and reconcile mankind to the Creator.

During His time on earth, Jesus climbed the Mount of Olives with His disciples to pray and seek His Father’s will. From that high point overlooking Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, He prophesied of its destruction and His own death and resurrection. Biblical archeologists and historians believe the Temple Mount is the spot where Abraham took Isaac to sacrifice. The Holy of Holies accessed only by the High Priest annually may have been over the very spot where God provided the substitute sacrifice for Isaac. When Jesus died the heavy curtain separating the outer court from this Holy place was torn in two, signifying direct access to the Father through Jesus’ own substitutionary death that paid the price for all human sin.

After the dispersion of the Jewish people in 70 AD, 2000 years passed before the world would see the fulfillment of many other prophesies on the restoration of the promised land to the Jewish people and the nation of Israel. As He spoke through the prophets, God was faithful to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses bringing to pass His provision, protection, and prophetic fulfillment for His people and the entire world.

Our journey to the mountaintop seems insignificant in comparison to these grand mountaintop miracles, but for us it is just one more miracle of the Lord’s faithful provision. When we discovered Flagstaff over 20 years ago and then traveled here in 2014, we did not know how our dream could possibly become reality. Looking back now, we realize that the unfolding events over the subsequent years were His plan for us; we merely held on to our dream and stepped out in faith. As with any mountain climb, ours was no walk in the park, yet as we traversed the rugged trail through the valleys to new heights, He was always with us. We praise the Lord for our mountaintop journey to Flagstaff and desire to share our joy with others who visit us in our Forest Peak Retreat. Come to the mountaintop and rejoice with us!

By Sheryl Dawson
Easter, April 1, 2018

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