Every valley shall be exalted,
every mountain and hill made low;
the crooked straight,
and the rough places plain. Isaiah 40:4
Gazing out our kitchen window, we see the strong silhouette of Mt. Baker every morning, unchanging and unblinking as the clouds swirl past, the snow falls, or the sun shines. The peaks are just as impressive as they must have been for the coastal native populations centuries ago, with the river valleys at its feet just as green and lush.
As permanent as it seems, it is an active volcano, still steaming from its vent on the coldest of mornings, a plume visible from our farmhouse dozens of miles away. The lesson of Mount St. Helen taught us that the constancy of rocky peaks is illusory. In an instant it can be laid low, the valleys obliterated in a sea of lava, the rivers gorged and gushing with mud, the ragged geography covered and soon forgotten.
There is nothing permanent under the firmament. Every earthquake and tsunami, as happened in Japan only an hour ago just a couple hundred miles from where our son lives and teaches, proves that again and again.
All that is lasting is the kingdom of our God incarnate, who walked in living flesh on this impermanent earth, in order to bring His people to home everlasting.
Knowing this, we can be rough no more.