A Different Perspective

photo by Charlotte Karlsen

Over the past week, I have come across something that several people I know have re-posted. I have some thoughts on it that I would like to share. Firstly, here is what the post says:

“Have you ever noticed how in the scriptures men are always going up into the mountains to commune with the Lord?

Yet in the scriptures we hardly ever
hear of women going to the mountains,
and we know why — right?

Because the women were too busy
keeping life going;
they couldn’t abandon babies,
meals,
homes,
fires,
gardens,
and a thousand responsibilities to make the climb into the mountains!

I was talking to a friend the other day,
saying that as modern woman
I feel like I’m never “free” enough
from my responsibilities,
never in a quiet enough,
or holy enough spot
to have the type of communion
I want with God.

Her response floored me,
“That is why God comes to women.
Men have to climb the mountain to meet God, but God comes to women where ever they are.”

I have been pondering on her words for weeks and have searched my scriptures
to see that what she said is true.
God does in deed come to women
where they are,
when they are doing their ordinary,
everyday work.

He meets them at the wells
where they draw water for their families,
in their homes,
in their kitchens,
in their gardens.

He comes to them
as they sit beside sickbeds,
as they give birth,
care for the elderly,
and perform necessary mourning and burial rites.

Even at the empty tomb,
Mary was the first to witness Christ’s resurrection,
She was there because she was doing the womanly chore of properly preparing Christ’s body for burial.

In these seemingly mundane
and ordinary tasks,
these women of the scriptures found themselves face to face with divinity.

So if — like me — you ever start to bemoan the fact that you don’t have as much time to spend in the mountains with God as you would like. Remember, God comes to women. He knows where we are and the burdens we carry. He sees us, and if we open our eyes and our hearts we will see Him, even in the most ordinary places and in the most ordinary things.

He lives.”
(End of post)

First of all this is beautifully written. However, I think it can be very misguiding in what I believe God is calling us into as mothers especially. Many women find themselves in this “busy mom life” and it’s easy to justify that’s our only purpose. I don’t feel that this post is directly saying that, but indirectly it’s messages like this that continue making women think that it’s okay to be running around ragged with zero time to themselves.

Yes, Jesus does absolutely meet us where we are at when we find ourselves in these places; as he does for men though! The part that claims “That is why God comes to women. Men have to climb the mountain to meet God, but God comes to women where ever they are” is a comment that is so far from being the whole truth. Are there many examples in scripture where this is so? Yes. Yet then there are also stories of women actively chasing after God and stories of God meeting men where they are at.

The idea that men are striving, achieving, and “climbing the mountains” while the women are at home being house wives and helpers, is the very damaging message that has plagued society for years. There is nothing wrong with that scenario! However, more often than not society will affirm men for their strength, perseverance, and work ethics more than they will for women. Meanwhile the women are most affirmed in being mothers, house wives, Sunday school teachers, daycare providers, and all things helpful. This is not in every circumstance, and now more than ever we have a generation of women rising up and breaking those stereotypes; but this image of what it means to be a man or a woman is still sadly alive and well in many ways.

The world speaks so many lies over women (the church included), and it conditions us to think that “the everyday and the mundane” is all we are called to. I know that most women who are sharing that post were likely not saying that lifestyle is all we are made for! I too think it’s a great reminder that when we DO find ourselves in those overwhelmed lonely places, that Jesus WILL come to us. He WILL find us. That is a powerful message and reminder for women! Absolutely. I just felt like I needed to remind all of the women reading this that you are more than just that person who takes care of everyone. That is a common lie that is believed deep in the hearts of many women. Then, add in that Jesus meets us in those places because it’s in our nature to stay there? Definitely not. Yes, God will always come to us. This is true. It’s in HIS nature! However, He is also yearning for us to experience more.

The Bible says “come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” COME Jesus says. That call is for men and women both to go after Jesus when we are tired and distressed. As women I don’t believe that we are called to sit in that busy life knowing that the Lord will just chase after us. Does He? Of course! I also believe though, that sometimes God is calling us as women to put all that busyness down and find purpose and calling in those quiet or “mountain top” places too. Please know that this is all coming from someone who lived that life for almost 9 years now; and it’s taken me that long to realize how unhealthy that life can be without boundaries, self care, and the ability to say no to the things that constantly drain me.

What would I say to the woman who wrote that post? I would tell her that her writing is beautiful and I agree with a portion of what she is saying. I am simply giving another perspective as a woman myself. I’d say “thank you for reminding me that God will always meet me where I’m at even when I’m distracted or running far from Him.” I would tell her that if she has found beauty and meaning in that lifestyle for herself, then that’s okay. Just remember though, many women find themselves lost and trapped in that world not knowing they can escape. Those women don’t need to hear that message.

If you posted that, or a friend posted it and you liked it, great! I think there is absolutely some truth and wisdom within in. Some women do find purpose, meaning, and rest in Jesus within that sort of lifestyle and there’s nothing wrong with that. That post is for them! I just know that as a tired mom myself who has lived in that reality, I am well aware that many women are unhealthy in that lifestyle and looking for something to validate that part of their life. I believe that sadly something like that post can be that for those women. What those women need to hear is that they are MORE than those things. They need to be told that Jesus is our purpose, so why wouldn’t we fight to also find him in more intimate or extravagant places?

You do not need to be a man to do that.

You can make time or you can make excuses. Go and get a dang second to yourself so you can remember who you are in Christ, and not just sit in what the world defines you as. I understand this is harder for some women. Single moms, you inspire me! We are all living our own journeys, so find what works for you. Every once in a while though, put down all the expectations that are placed upon you.

…and go climb that mountain girl, because women climb mountains too.

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