Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Deeper The Valley, The Higher The Mountain!

That's not original with me. A true sister in Christ said that to me recently and she spoke from a deep well of personal experience. She said it with a broad, ear-to-ear beaming smile on her face, a big shiny twinkle in both eyes, and a melody in her voice with those words the song. It was a beautiful moment.

There are, surely, valleys we must go through in this life, and while we often think of mountains as obstacles to be either climbed or moved, they can also be those mountaintop experiences with God when we relish the sweet moment of "overcoming." When we look down behind us and see just how far we've come. When we see the obstacles and the broken path that we have moved through to get to this time of deliverance and relief and we can say, beyond a shadow of a doubt, "LORD! You did it! You've carried me through all that garbage and stuff of life that tried to pull me down and drown me and we've gotten through it...together! And God, You've shown Yourself to be more than I ever dreamed and Lord, I'm more than I ever thought I was, too and man do we make a formidable team!"

We couldn't see all that while we were still in the valley, though. Sometimes that valley seems interminable. Sometimes it looks like we see a mountain up ahead in the distance but when we finally get to it it's really a bump in the road that veers to another valley. Sometimes the valley gets just so deep that it seems like we're going to live there the rest of our days and drown in that awful place. It can get so dark that we may begin thinking God has left us there to rot. We may decide to blame God for the valley. We wonder how long we'll be there and our faith can waiver. We can forget the times we've seen the mountain. And sometimes our mountaintop experiences of the past become forgotten pieces of history.

If you're in that valley of a place right now, hang on. When you feel like you're hanging on by a thread, find other threads to wrap around so that there's a string. You're not alone. You may not have the support system you thought you did, unraveling support may be one of your valleys right now, but there are fellow travelers in that valley, there are travelers up ahead going up the mountain who will throw you a life line and lift you up, and there is God and there are angels all around you. You are not alone. Become part of a string. And then a rope. And find life getting better and you filling with hope that there really IS a Light at the end of this tunnel shaped valley.

You're going to make it to that mountain. But we can only get to the mountain by taking one step at a time. Sometimes they'll be giant steps. Sometimes, baby steps. But they will still be one step at a time. Sometimes we'll get tired of stepping and take a break. That's OK, too. You're not racing anyone to that mountain. This is your ascent out of the valley and it's your mountain climb and it will be your mountaintop experience and exultation. Nobody elses. No two valleys look the same and no two climbs out are the same. God is the same God over all though.

And, yes, God's on that mountaintop waiting for you and waiting to enjoy the moment of victory with you. But God's also down in that valley with you. He's there to guide your steps as you navigate your way, but you have to follow His lead. We're not always good at doing that. We're going to fall and He's going to pick us back up. We're going to get lost and He's going to find us.

Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound, how great the feeling of being lost and then found!

And you're going to get to your mountain. And you're going to climb it. And you're going to relish getting to the top and seeing just how far you have come with God's help. And you'll be able to see just how deep your valley really was and it will be from a different perspective because you'll be looking down at it with triumph instead of looking up from it with despair.

But you'll be on this high mountain. And it will be good. Promise. Sooner or later, somehow or another.

You WILL walk through that valley and you WILL climb that mountain

And we will ALL be eternally