Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Peaks and Valleys

I attended a funeral yesterday for an old friend.  He was 93 and had been ready to go home for a long time.  He's home today.  

As I came into the lobby of the church I saw several other friends I haven't seen in a while.  We began to talk about the struggles of life, the peaks and valleys of being human.  One of my friends said, "I always grow best in the valleys."  To which I replied, "I bet you don't pray for valleys though!"  He smiled and admitted he didn't.

We all have the ups and downs of life, the joys and sorrows of finding and losing, hopes and fears.  But I think my friend was right that our times of growth are when we are forced to trust God, when we are afraid, when all hope seems's in those times when we grow the most.  It's those times of wilderness when we have to trust God or else.  

On the mountains all is good. We feel the breeze, see the sun and enjoy the bounty of what God has given.  Why is it that we don't seem to trust God as much in the good days as we must in the bad?  I think it's because there are moments of delusion when we think we have everything taken care of.  We forget that every moment is a moment of total trust in God...whether mountain top or dark valley of despair.

The bible is filled with admonitions that are based on one essential truth.  Here are a few of the things we are told from both old and new testament, "Don't fret", "don't worry", "don't be anxious", "don't be afraid", and many more.  I know, if you've read the bible, you've seen some of these simple admonitions.

They are all based on this one truth- God is sovereign!  That means he's in total control of EVERYTHING and fully able to accomplish his plans for you.  He's ALWAYS in control.  And, he's all powerful.  The reasons we are given these admonitions always comes back to one basic truth.  You have an awesome big God who is taking care of everything.  Whether peak or valley God is with you, caring for you, watching over you.

Today was a valley day for me.  It came in a moment, much like a roller coaster.  One minute I'm at the top, enjoying the sun and the beautiful day and then my stomach drops as I plummet towards the valley.  Fear and panic invade my emotions and my thoughts race to thoughts of despair and hopelessness.  I know you have been on that ride as well.  As I plummet to the valley I have to stop and remind myself of who is in control of my life.  It doesn't stop the emotions of the moment, but in just a bit I remember God.

As I talked to God about all of this today I admitted I would have been worse than any of his people coming out of Egypt!  He would have struck me dead on the first day, but I'm so thankful that his grace and kindness helps me, as weak as I am, through the descents  into the valley...where, like my friend, I always grow the most.


Mike McM said...

There is the posibility that you can learn and trust even in the good times. It is a choice to see even the valleys as a moutain top because God is there with you. We put the evaluation as to what is a moutain top and what is a valley. From many mountain tops you can look one way and see a vast desert, and look the other way and see a geen pasture land. The way you look is up to you. ( both directions at still below the mountain top )

Mike Messerli said...

Great comments, Mike, I agree!

m-shell said...

Enjoyed both comments. Thx for sharing. I try and picture it as a journey around the mountain leading to heaven. Every one of us is on there some where. There are setbacks, and easy paths. Sometimes I am forced to sit but remaining in the word and knowing the paths are all solid in God's promises, helps my faith to know I will be moving faster forward soon. I carry a tool sack. I use all I have been taught and what I have learned, all my God given insights and wear my armour, carry my shield, and sword. I try to rest in him, and have to sometimes receive comfort and love as I wait on the Lord. Due to my health conditions and griefs, trust in him is all I have. I try and serve anyone I do come in contact with. This fuels me forward. Giving thanks and worshiping gets my head and heart in the right place. We are running a race to the finish... home. I would give anything if Jesus would just swing around that mountain, as I travel around and around to heaven or meeting him in the sky, and pick me up in a helicopter or chariot or just take me by spirit. Love to my brothers. And sisters. Family, we will all see each other there. Praying for the valley's of the church. ♥