I was up early this morning and this is often the time that God speaks to me the most. This morning was no exception. I began to remember the time my husband Dave and I took a trip to Colorado. It was a great trip! There is no feeling like the one you have the first time your eyes look upon the Rockies! They are incredible and awesome and massive!
A highlight of this trip was when Dave hiked to one of the highest peaks. Once he accomplished reaching the top, he felt success, excitement, fulfillment, and exhilaration! However, those feelings soon began to fade into those of lightheadedness, nausea, and shortness of breath as altitude sickness began to set in. He knew he needed to get back down the mountain and he needed to do it quickly!
Mountaintops and valleys
I haven’t thought of that experience in a really long time so I wondered why God brought it to my mind and the significance of it. Then He began to speak to my heart. So much of our lives are spent wishing for the mountaintop…longing for the mountaintop experience! But just as Dave learned, that is not where we are designed to stay. Our renewal of faith, strength, and hope comes when we are down in the valley. This is where we spend most of our time. Dealing with struggles of time management, children, financial problems, marital problems, health issues, the death of a loved one…you know, the normal struggles of living life on planet earth. But this is where we need to flourish and be completely content.
On the mountaintop, we often forget that we need God and that those around us do too. We are so excited, feel so successful and accomplished that we often don’t have a dependence on God or a heart for others either. We can easily fall into the “it’s all about me” phase and just like the landscape of a mountain, our hearts can become cold and bare, isolated and lonely of a relationship with Christ and others. But in the valley, that is where we sense His presence the most. That is where we cry out to Him in a dark time. That is where we long to feel close to Him. That is where we pray…earnestly pray. That is where study and depend on His word to guide us. That is where and when we need our Christian brothers and sisters to lean on and to live life with.
Count it all joy
Here, in the valley, our hearts can reflect that landscape as well. There are often streams of water, trees, beautiful green grass, songbirds and other wonderful animals in a valley. The perfect setting for warmth, relationship and growth. So why do we long to be on top of that rocky mountain so much…so much that we can lose sight of what is truly important in this life?
There is nothing wrong with enjoying the mountain top! God created it and we are to enjoy His blessings with a grateful heart. But we need to find contentment and joy in the gift of everyday life as well, no matter the circumstances. As James 1:2-3 says, count it all joy!
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