Just a few years ago while travelling through New Zealand, I penned my thoughts as I stared with awe at glaciers, rivers and lakes, glowworm caves, all of virgin beauty I’d never seen before. Birds hopped nearby, unafraid, squirrels romped around, all knowing no fear, as they had no predators before or even now to frighten them.

And then my glance turned once again to the mountains:

Majestic in appearance, imposing in character, the mountains I stare at, rise into the sky: There's something invincible about them. Two ice ages have gone by! Powerful, wrecking glaciers have tried to shear their sides, torn rocks out of their shoulders but the mountains stand tall. Snow and ice have tried to reduce them to rubble and now have given up. Water, rivulets of flowing streams have made chasms and gorges, but those very scars on their surface have only made those mountains more beautiful to look at.

It seems with a loftiness of uncompromising strength these mighty hills, snow capped all the year through, have treated their challengers with contempt!

Today they stand tall, rising above all the elements who challenged their existence. The glaciers have melted along with the snow. The waters have lost their ferocity and the rain gently flows down their sides respectfully!

I look at those mountains, here in the South Islands and realize how I face everyday same challenges. But, I cry out!                                                                                                                                                                             I complain!                                                                                                                                                                                    I criticize! 

And in so doing, lose my power to silently withstand!

"Is there something,” I ask God, "You want me to learn from these your breathtaking creations?

And in the stillness, the quiet serenity, the subdued strength of those rising friends looking down kindly on me I hear, "Our strength comes from our Creator! He made us from earthquake uprisings and volcanic spouting. He raised us up and with His strength we stand tall!

I turn away and watch gentle river, and pleasant breeze, foes the mountains turned into friends by the sheer power of knowing that their very uniqueness was their invincibility!

"Just know you are a unique creation!" whisper those silent sentinels, "and you will stand tall like us..!"

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