Mountain View - Out of Darkness By Paula Friedrichsen

Writer Author  Church On The Mountain
Christian Column : Inspirational  - Fiction  No

Christian Author Writer On a deeply cloudy morning in 1975 I sat waiting…highly anticipating my very first airplane ride. My parents and siblings had driven home the week before from my Aunt Sharon’s ranch in Oregon, but I was given the opportunity to stay an additional week and fly home by myself.

I found Oregon a nice place to visit with one exception; it had been overcast, rainy and dreary for our entire stay. By the end of my vacation, I longed for sunshine. And because I’d never flown before, I assumed I would have to wait until we got closer to sunny California to enjoy those golden rays. But I was in for a big surprise…

Like a bullet our airplane zipped down the runway, became airborne, and soon plunged headlong into the blanket of menacing thunderheads that had held office for the entire month of September. Moments later we catapulted through the other side of the thick quilt of gray clouds, and with saucer eyes I was astounded as our airplane broke free from the gloom into glorious sunshine! I still remember the joy and exhilaration of that moment and the epiphany that even when it’s dismal below—the sun is always shining just above the clouds.

The trials and tribulations of my life have at times made me feel like I’m permanently stuck in Oregon (no offense to any rain-loving Oregonians).

And in those dark times I’ve been deeply comforted by a passage of Scripture that says; God calls us out of darkness and into His wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)

Just as that airplane pulled me up into the sunshine, out of the depressing gloom—my connection with God has repeatedly pulled me out of spiritual darkness and into His wonderful light.

When I wake each morning and spend time in God’s word and prayer, I begin to see myself reflected in the Lord’s eyes. It’s in that place of fellowship with Him that I know who I am; I am His beloved daughter, a work in progress, a thing of beauty. I’ve learned the hard way that if I’m hoping to find my identity reflected in anyone else’s eyes, I’ll end up disappointed.

As I make my way through this sometimes wonderful, sometimes difficult life, it’s my daily relationship with God that gives me insight, stability, and joy. And in the event that I find myself languishing under a leaden heaven (that dark cloud feeling where nothing seems to be going right), it’s my connection with Him that pulls me heavenward.

So…with this wealth of blessing just waiting for me each morning you would think I’d never miss my quiet time with God, right? Wrong. Knowing what’s good for me and doing it are two different things. The biggest hindrance to making daily prayer a solid part of each day is my hurried life.

It’s an indisputable fact that most people are living at an accelerated pace these days. But… it’s impossible to hurry up and build a deeply personal prayer life with God. My prayer life suffers when I hurry through it, just as my marriage relationship would suffer if we hurried through each opportunity for communication and companionship.

Imagine for a moment that I planned some quality time with my husband. Here’s the scenario;

“Honey, let’s spend some time together. We should go out to dinner tonight after work.”

“Okay Paula. You know I love spending time with you.”

Later that evening, Jeff pulls up in front of the house and while leaving the car running, rushes in breathlessly yelling “Come on Honey, times-a-wasting!”

We speed over to McDonalds, where he proceeds to buy us cheeseburgers and fries from the drive-thru window. With my value-meal balanced precariously upon my lap, I do my best to eat without spilling as we drive home. Pulling into the garage Jeff says, “That was fun, let’s do it again soon!”

Thankfully, my husband does not approach a “date” this way—as I’m sure few husbands do (unless they like sleeping alone). And why not? Because they know that this is not the kind of intimacy a wife longs for. She longs for her husband’s time… for his attention… for an unrushed evening of adult conversation.

I’ve learned that intimacy cannot be rushed. The best way to get to know someone is to spend time with them. Likewise, intimate prayer cannot be rushed.

Prayer has a way of changing the topography of our lives in dramatic and definite ways. What appeared to be a mountain before prayer is recognized as an inconsequential molehill after prayer. What looked liked an impenetrable valley before prayer, is seen as an easily accessible land of promise after prayer.

Prayer. A simple childlike act, a humbling activity, and an avenue of blessing. And for me personally, a ticket out of Oregon.

Editor's Comment: Paula Friedrichsen is a member of Church on the Mountain, a vibrant community of believers in Crowley Lake. We meet at 9:30 Sunday mornings. Call for more information: 935-4272 or

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State: California
Country: United States
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