The Gift of Hills

From my “Nature is” series: “Radiant”

Whenever someone would tell me I was beautiful, I used to really take it to heart. In fact, I still do. Who doesn’t want to hear those words? As I’ve gotten older, though, there’s something that I long to hear even more than that.

“I see God in you.” There is no higher compliment. When someone has the heart of God, it’s evident in their actions, the way they move, the way they respond, the way they carry themselves. A Christlike spirit never grows old; it never ages, and it’s beauty never fades.

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. (Matthew 5:14)

People who are true followers of Christ radiate. They shine brighter. They don’t have to verbally say they love God because you can see it before they even say anything. The house that’s built on a hill doesn’t have to make a sound, anyone with eyes can see it clearly, and the light from the sky illuminates what’s on top of the hill before anything at the bottom.

I like to think of the Word of God like a hill. It’s a difficult climb. It can be difficult to read, understand, and even more difficult to live out. Our flesh tells us to take the path of least resistance, to give it up and just stay at the base where so many of us decide to stay. It’s much easier that way. The truth is, though, once you reach the top of that hill, you’ll never want to come down from it. The more we learn to die to our flesh and dwell in the spirit, the more Christlike, beautiful, and radiant we will be.

It’s not that salvation is dependent on climbing, on working hard. No amount of climbing can save us. We are saved by what Jesus did and that alone. Salvation is dependent on faith, but what is faith without works? Without action? The fruit in our lives is evidence of our faith. You will know them by their fruit. (Matthew 7:16) It’s easy to call yourself a Christian; it’s difficult to make sure your actions align with what you claim. I’m not God, and I don’t know how He will judge us, but what I do know is this: just getting into Heaven will never be enough for me. I want to climb to the very top of that hill; I want to make my Father proud.

The air you breathe is always fresher on top of a hill. The atmosphere is very healthy and pure. There’s less air and noise pollution. Your view is clear, scenic, and unblocked by anything. You can see things clearly from far away before anyone else at the base. There’s privacy and a lot more space due to a lower population. There’s peace on top of the hill. Everyone wants peace, but you must actively choose peace to have it, to maintain it. You have to choose to go build your house on that hill and continue choosing to stay there.

I thank God for giving me a firm foundation to build my home upon—a place of light, truth, beauty, and radiance where the air is clean and the view is clear. I thank God for the hills.

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