Monday, December 21, 2015

Mountaintops and Valleys

On The Mountaintop

Have you ever wondered why life seems to be filled with more valley experiences than mountaintop experiences?  Mountaintop experiences are fun! The view is awesome and you feel alive and exhilarated! From the mountaintop, life is good and you feel as though you could conquer the world. While you may have concerns, none of them are urgent. Problems can wait for another day because nothing is going to come between you and your happiness.

.Sliding Down The Mountain

Then, one day you wake up and you realize your view has changed. Where is the mountaintop? Is it hidden in the fog of life’s pressing issues? Is it there at all? At some point in time, you have slid down the mountain. You look around as your half-asleep self begins to adjust to another day of living. Life seems uncertain and life’s issues seem front and foremost. Suddenly, you realize you have landed at the bottom of the mountain.

Valleys Are Green With Growth

Have you ever noticed that mountaintops are not as green and lush as valleys? Mountaintops contain far less vegetation than their counterparts and they do not flourish with life the way valleys do. Yet the valleys of life seem like a dreaded place to be. We associate the valleys of life as a place where we cannot see God’s plan. We question and lament over what our life’s purpose is and we work tirelessly to fight our way back to the top of the mountain. Let me remind you, my friend, growth takes place in the valley because when we are wrenching in emotional pain and we feel lost and unsure of which way to go, we let go and allow God to work. During this painful process, we sit at the feet of Jesus and we take time to listen to His quiet, still voice. True growth occurs as we walk in the darkness of uncertainty and grab onto the Lord’s hand for guidance as we walk cautiously to regain assurance. 

Learning To Live In The Valley

When I was younger I thought life was all roses and romance and happily-ever-after. As a more mature woman, I am learning to live in the valley. Life is complex. Life is messy. Life is difficult. Yet life is amazing. Life is good. Life is worth the effort. As that younger woman, I thought the only times worth living were the mountaintop experiences. As the more mature woman, I realize all of life is worth living…the good, the bad, and the in-between. The Lord uses all of our experiences to grow us into caring people who can relate to others who have similar issues. As I grow closer to Him, I am more aware that living in the valley is living close with my Savior. He guides me each day. He uses me in ways that I would never thought that I could be used. He allows me to encounter people who need to know there is hope and a Savior who loves them in spite of their past mistakes and current issues.

Enjoying The Mountaintop

God is gracious. While we are enjoying mountaintop experiences, He is giving us a chance to refresh and catch our breath. My problem with being on the mountaintop is that when I get comfortable, I want to stay there where the air is clean and fresh and the view is amazing. I don’t want to go back to the valley and struggle with life issues again.

What about you? Have you learned to live in the valley and enjoy the mountaintop? Let’s share life together through telling your story.

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