Thornleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church (Sydney, Australia)

Home > Online Magazine > Online Magazine: Edition 25 - October/November 2008 > How Beautiful on the Mountains (by Margaret Southon)

How Beautiful on the Mountains

by Margaret Southon

How Beautiful on the Mountains - We can be God's feet

How Beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace...   Isaiah 52:7

Some years ago I was invited to attend a women's conference. I experienced a deep spiritual love and encouragement from the women there and was greatly blessed by that experience.

On the second evening of the conference, the lights turned off and little boxes were passed along the rows to each of the women. We were told that the gift we had in our hand was a love gift for us to treasure. As the lights were turned back on we eagerly opened our boxes and found that we each had a beautiful, carefully crafted shoe to take home as a memento of the occasion.

I am almost too embarrassed to tell you of my response. I had a very human moment!

As I quickly scanned the women around me, I saw that each of them had a beautiful shoe. One was blue with lace, another - pink with roses, another - black with elegance. I looked at mine. It was red and evil looking - in fact it was named "Red Devil".

Now I know that at times Ray (my husband) would heartily agree that I was just like that shoe!  However, - back to the story!

My heart sank. I definitely did not like that shoe. I didn't even want to hold it. I wanted to discard and disown it. I was very disappointed with my gift! I started to grumble in my heart and question why I landed such a horrible shoe!

The meeting finished and I went to my car forgetting all the lovely things that had happened and all the wonderful things I had learned. I was just plain grumpy! As I was driving home, I was so miserable I thought I better talk to God about it.

"God, why did you have to give me such a horrible shoe? It doesn't even suit me. Everyone else got a lovely shoe and I ended up with this evil looking contraption".

Quietness.  Stillness.  I felt a stirring in my heart and a soft voice in my mind.

"My dear child, never question the gift that your Father in heaven so lovingly gives you.

It is given to you with a purpose in mind. The shoe is an illustration of a journey. Some shoes are pretty. Some are practical. Each are for certain situations. The shoe is a covering for your particular journey.'

The thought began to grow on me. Yes, it is true that each of us have different journeys to travel, different grounds to cross and we each need a particular type of shoe for our journey.

When I got home I was starting to feel excited as this new thought took root in my heart. I looked at the box and on the covering was this wonderful text:

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news"

Suddenly the truth dawned. God had entrusted me with my own shoe, -  my own journey to travel for Him - It was not for me to grumble about the journey God had entrusted me with. It was for me to run that race to the best of my ability!

I suddenly felt humbled and honoured at the same time to think that God saw fit to use little humble me to do something for Him.

Today I love my shoe. But what I love better is this beautiful text we read in Isa 52.7

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news…"

I am so excited to be a part of God's big plan for His family here on earth.

Now what I want you all to do is to look down at your feet.  Those who can easily do it, I want you to kick your shoes off for a moment and look at those feet of yours. You will see there are all shapes and sizes. Big ones, little ones, fat ones, skinny ones. But God has a plan for each one of them. In fact He has an individual plan for each pair of feet and He blesses them with this most amazing text in Isaiah 52.7

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"

What a privilege!   What an honour!   What an amazing God we serve!


I got to wondering how this shoe fit my situation. Then I remembered that some years ago I had the privilege of working as a nurse in a drug and alcohol rehab unit in Warburton. This was a particularly frightening prospect for me as all my life I had never been exposed to drugs and alcohol let alone looking after patients in this particularly vulnerable time of rehabilitation. However, as I had taken on the position I had no choice but to make the most of it. So with much prayer for God's guidance, I stepped out and began a journey of personal discovery and enrichment and understanding about the lives of these dear people.  I began to understand that by the grace of God, I could have been one of them if my circumstances had been different.

I had many and varied experiences - some frightening, some heartbreaking, some thrilling, some wrenching and some heartwarming.

One particular situation grabbed the attention of my inner heart. I was sitting at the desk one evening doing my paper work and all of a sudden I heard deep sobbing coming from one of the rooms. I waited for a moment then followed the sound to my patient's room as she began to call out, "Is there anyone out there who can help me".

As I entered her room, here was this most beautiful young lady of about 35, curled up in a foetal position, rocking back and forwards and sobbing so deeply I thought her heart would break. As I sat down by her bed and took her hand in mine, I was deeply moved with compassion with the sight before me. "Oh God, look at your precious daughter. Please comfort her heart and give me something relevant to say".

She began to tell me her story.

How her father began giving her alcohol to drink in her baby's bottle at 11 months of age and how by the age of 5 she was addicted to it.

How by the age of 11 she had been regularly abused by her father and other male relatives and how her mother was too frightened to stand up for her. She was abandoned by those who were meant to care for her.

How by the age of 15 she ran away from home and learned to live on the streets and sell herself in order to survive.

How she so desperately wanted to give up this terrible life style and learn to live a normal and quiet life but she was so desperately hooked by the alcohol and the drugs and the only way she knew how to make a living. "Is there any way out?" she pleaded.

Oh, how my heart ached! I did the only thing I knew. I told her that she was the precious daughter of the King of this Universe. I told her that Jesus had made a way of escape for her and that He had an amazing plan for her life and that He was the only one who could truly help her and that I could introduce her to Him. With that she said, "Oh please do". We prayed together - this beautiful daughter, so loved and precious in His sight, pled to the Lord to take note of her situation and rescue her from the pit of hell. And I, feeling so unworthy and helpless in this sacred moment, cried out to the Loving God of this messed up world.

I felt safe leaving her in the trustworthy care of Jesus. I know that moment was a turning point in her life.

Remember dear people that God does not ask most of us to do great and mighty works for Him. He just gives us a pair of feet to run and tell the good news and then on top of that He blesses us with those beautiful words in Isa 52:7 - "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news…."

Who wouldn't want to serve a wonderful God such as this?

Home > Online Magazine > Online Magazine: Edition 25 - October/November 2008 > How Beautiful on the Mountains (by Margaret Southon)