God of the Mountains and Valleys
Life is filled with both mountain top and valley experiences. We love those mountain tops, picture Julie Andrews singing how the hills are alive! The mountain top is where we tend to feel great about what God is doing, a time we give thanks and praise for victories. We celebrate Him on those mountaintops because we know it’s God who brings us through the trials that led us there.
But the valleys are a different story.
While they are the places we can learn the greatest lessons, they are often through our biggest heartbreaks. When we find ourselves in a valley, He meets us there in a way that is different from the mountain top. Sometimes all we can do is cry out, seek His presence, and remind ourselves of His promises.
It's important not to lose sight of who God is during these times. He is the Sovereign God, who knows the beginning and end and sees the plan we cannot see. He is the Promise Maker and the Promise Keeper. He holds everything in His mighty hand. He sees every tear, holds us in our heartbreak, and walks with us every day.
It had always been a dream of mine to visit Hawaii, and during my cancer battle, I got my first chance to go. This is where God showed me a different way to look at Him in the valleys of life. While there, I traveled to the top of a dormant volcano. The peak is almost 10,500 feet up! The road is a winding, twisting, often one-lane road with only a small guardrail-separation from the edge. It's the only road up, and is a scary one! The higher I got, it became obscured and at times shrouded in fog, clouds, and treacherous rain.
This reminds me of the road we sometimes have to take to get to our mountain tops.
When I finally reached the summit, I expected amazing views, but because I was so high up in the clouds there was no view. The air was thin, I felt dizzy and sick, it was COLD, really cold, and the terrain looked like the moon; nothing was growing, it was an empty, rocky landscape, and honestly, I could not wait to leave. I wanted to feel warm and safe again.
The next day I visited a famous valley where a great battle had taken place. This was one of the most beautiful places I’d ever seen. It was warm, lush green, and full of colors I had never seen before. There were beautiful flowers everywhere, it smelled heavenly and there were so many peaceful streams and amazing waterfalls. It was a place where God’s creation was on full display, and I felt so close to Him; it felt like a tiny glimpse of what the Garden of Eden must have looked like. I chose to spend all day there!
God showed me that I don’t have to fear or dread the valleys of life. It's where God shows His great love for me and where His power is displayed in full force. It’s where His Word and His promises become real to me, and if I allow it, they will bring me great comfort and peace. It’s where my broken heart finds healing, where He trades my ashes for beauty. It is where He fights the battles that I can’t, and it can be a place of incredible intimacy with my Creator.
Yes, there is no denying that on the mountain top there are blessings and many reasons to praise Him. But, He taught me that a valley is also a place of great beauty and refreshment filled with sweet communion with Him. In my life, that’s where God meets me and where I can listen to Him the best. He is God who is always with us no matter where we are. We don’t have to fear the valleys because God the promise keeper, will never leave us alone there.
"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." Joshua 1:9
The God of the mountains is the God of the valleys,
ARH Staff Writer