There is something majestic about finding a clearing at the top of a mountain and looking out as far as the eye can see. It’s spectacular during sunrises or sunsets when the sky explodes with color. Sigh.
Valleys on the other hand, do not provide the same perspective. It is difficult to see past your next step – because if you look too far ahead, you may trip and fall. A valley may be defined as an elongated depression of the Earth’s surface. An elongated depression…hmm. Now add darkness to the valley and well, we get the idea…
Isaiah 54:10 reads: “For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken,” says the Lord, who has mercy on you.“
Psalm 23:4: “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.”
Almost two years ago, our family experienced a deep valley.
One of the painful circumstances we faced involved my son-in-law’s health. At that time, Ben and my daughter had only been married for 6 months. He landed in the hospital with COVID for 11 days and we feared we might lose him.
During his 11 days in the hospital, my daughter, Lauren had daily check-ins with his doctor. He knew she had lots of people praying for him and would eventually begin the check-ins with “this is how we need to pray today.”
One day, the doctor shared with Lauren that he was used to seeing fear in the eyes of patients battling COVID. But, he went on to say that he never saw fear in Ben’s eyes. I was so encouraged by this story because it is a clear example of “fearing no evil.”
The greenery of the valleys
Now back to the mountains…
During a trip to Colorado I was again enjoying the views along the mountain roads. One of the vistas unexpectedly caught my attention. Although the entirety of the mountain view was breathtaking, I noticed that there was only greenery (life) in the Valley. The mountaintops were free of growth.
Have you noticed that personal and spiritual growth usually take place during the valley experiences? Yet, it is safe to say that most of us don’t choose those painful valleys – do we? The truth is that God is with us in the valleys. His presence brings us great comfort when all we can see is the next step in front of us.
Today, you may find yourself on the mountaintop. If you are there – take in the view! Breath deeply and thank God for the perspective you are able to have from that place. Acknowledge His unfailing love towards you in every season. If, you find yourself in a valley, remember that you are not alone. Learn the life-changing lessons that come from this season and focus on God’s nearness and peace.
Director of Philanthropy & Advancement, STAR 93.3