I love thrift stores, antique stores and a good old junk store! I look for treasures in every dusty corner! I remember one time spotting an old chandelier in a pile of junk. I knew when I saw it that it was something special. Although it was covered in dirt, dust and scratches, we purchased it! I knew that with a good cleaning and a little work, it could be restored back to its original beauty, purpose and value.
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!
Read also :When life is not a rose garden
Christmastime is my favorite time of year. I’m sure it is for may be for many of you as well. Even though the days and nights are filled with business, there seems to be so much excitement and love in the air that it makes the chaos tolerable and even enjoyable.
When Rough Waters Come
In Luke chapter 13: 10-13, we read about a woman who had been bent over by a spirit for 18 years. As I was reading, I was trying to imagine this woman’s circumstance…having only the ground and the dirt as her view. How horrible her walk through life must have been. Then I realized that this has been me so many times in my life. I have allowed satan to have free reign over my mind causing me to drop my head in shame or from a sense of unworthiness. Believing the lies of satan and coming into agreement with him, will only give us a hopeless view of ourselves and our lives. Why do we believe his lies? Why do we choose to give him so much power over us?
In light of current events and the culture in which we are living, it just isn’t the time to sit in our comfortable pews and think we are doing all we can. YES, scripture is clear that in the last days we will see a moral decay BUT it is also clear that we are to stay diligent in His service and work!
Silence….it is a wonderful thing when we are sleeping, reading or thinking…but when we are in the midst of a trial, silence from God isn’t what we want at all! We want to hear Him loudly and we want to hear Him quickly! Sometimes, most times, that just isn’t the way God operates. When we are going through a test it may be because God desires to have an encounter with us! It won’t be until we completely surrender to Him with our faith and obedience that the silence will be lifted and His voice will be heard.
“I have nothing to wear!” are always my words when I have someplace to go. My clothes are stuffed in my closet, mind you, but I have not one thing to put on! Feel me? You’ve been there too and probably uttered these very words this morning!
There is so much we can learn from Mary, the Mother of Jesus. She is often in the background but when we see her in scripture, she makes bold impacts! For example, when you think of the first miracle of Jesus do you think of Mary? Probably not…but her role was vital! It was her faith and trust in Jesus that lead to the miracle! She gave Him the opportunity to step in and fix a problem and we can do the same thing in our lives, leading to miraculous results!
The story of Joshua, the walls of Jericho, the spies and the unshakable Rahab is one of my favorites in scripture. I have heard it told and read it a million times. If you are not familiar with it, please take time to read it (Joshua 6: 1-27).