Stark and foreboding against the backdrop of an ominous sky.
The top shielded from view by menacing clouds
The wall of rock glares down angrily at any passerby who thinks to arrogantly approach its cliffs
The cold, flat, unscalable stone causes the most formidable warrior to quale at its size and power.
The sheer immensity making known just how small man is.
Standing open in midst of the side,
One single path winds its way up the mountain.
An invitation and a warning
Come weary traveler
But come not alone
Come in the might of the king dwelling at the top
The path is treacherous
Weaving back and forth; sharp, jagged, steep, menacing.
Cliffs rising on either side
Casting the path into dark shadow.
Narrow is the way;
Room only for one to pass on their perilous assent to the top
An assault by an army, made impossible
Oh the top!
If one has the fortitude and courage to ascend,
The top is the prize!
Not visible to the naked eye
Not from here
The top exists
Standing tall and sure
Above the gloom
Rising into the sun and majesty of blue sky
The fortress beckons
Carved out of solid stone
Surrounded by high, thick wall
Protected by watch tower and vigilant soldier
Entered only by one main gate
Impenetrable stone and steel
A combination of power and strength
Entrance granted only to those whom the King grants
Entered only by the steep path
Traveled by a weary and desperate pilgrim
A path that resists an army mighty
This fortress is like no other.
Inside, the light of the sun….
Having scaled high above the clouds
The light, so near; no more mountain to block it
The warmth of the sun glows and radiates,
Permeating the common areas
Infusing the homes
Casting the city within with a shine and brilliance
Deeply contrasted by the dim, dark path traveled to arrive here
The sky so clear and blue
Not a cloud in sight, the sky is lit with light
Birds singing and calling as they glide effortlessly about
There is joy here.
But then, He comes.
Gliding among the people
Joy and happiness emanating from him
Striking with a force even before his physical presence arrives
He is felt before seen
He is experienced before embraced
His presence is power
Power too great to be contained in a single form
As he approaches
It becomes clear
The source of light…
Not the sun
Blinding, beautiful, brilliant LIGHT!
So pure, so clear, so delightful!
It terrifies with its purity
It lightens the heart with its gaiety!
Words cannot suffice!
The affect is unparalleled!
Contentment infuses every soul he passes
He approaches and everything stills
All the other beauty fades
Its color leached away by His own
He, He is the true beauty
The true worth of this place.
The fortress, this refuge on a hill…
They are not….
No, they are not the true source of safety and protection.
It's the King
He is the source
He IS the fortress
He is beautiful and terrible!
And in His presence, fear flees.
How can it do otherwise?
What is there left to fear
When this almighty King is near.
It is here that I take refuge
It is here that fear dies
It is here that He invites me to dwell
He is the stronghold of my life.
Of whom shall I be afraid?
I am gripped by the imagery of the "stronghold." I want to picture it in my head. I have this image of what it might look like and I want my heart to be filled with it. I never want to forget why my heart has no reason for fear. I never want to forget why my heart can rest secure in a world of trouble. I want to remember that You are my stronghold and my security!
I cannot wait till I walk in your presence, having journeyed to the top through the perilous paths of life, sustained and strengthened by your might all the way there, to enter into your final and eternal home forevermore to bask in the glow of your glory and offer you ceaseless praise for the rest of eternity!
Thank you for being my fortress, no only then, but even now. You are my stronghold against the dangers of this life; against the dark days we face. I am secure in you. I rest in you.
Thank you Abba.
I love you.
The Lord is my light and salvation
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life
Of whom shall I be afraid?