Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mountains and Valleys

The mountain and valley analogy is used often in the Christian walk. I've come to believe there is a very real reason for that, just because it is so very apt. I wonder who first came up with it.
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I live in a mountain and valley landscape. Ridges run parallel to one another, with broad valleys coming to narrow ends between them. Some mountains have narrow grades, subtly taking you up and up. More often though, they spring up, wall-like from the ground, creating a sharp contrast in the terrain.
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Spiritual mountain tops seem to be where we want to be as Christians. Time spent on the peak is time spent in tune with God, doing His will and getting ever so small glimpses into His plan. The top feels great. The top is, well, the top.
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Spiritual valleys are not our goal. God sometimes seems farther away when we're there. We wonder what He is planning. We gaze at the mountain tops and yearn to go back. Sometimes we grow frustrated and try to climb up out of the valley under our own power. Worse, we resign ourselves to the valley as if we are being punished somehow.
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The mountain tops where I live have spectacular views. In some places, it seems like you can see God's creation spread before you for miles.
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The valleys have a lot to offer, though. Rich farmland support crops and livestock. Rain runs down from mountains to feed streams, creeks and rivers. Occasionally, fog envelops the lowland, blocking out the sun making it hard to see where you are going.
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The spiritual valleys have a lot in common with the real thing. Valleys in our faith are a place to rest and recharge. God will provide us with what we need as we journey through. We just need to remember to trust in Him as we navigate through the inevitable fog that rolls in, confusing us and making us believe that God is so very far away.
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I'm trying to reshape my thinking. Time spent in the spiritual valley is not wasted. It is not punishment. Valleys serve a purpose. Moses, Davis and Elijah all spent time high up on the mountain top as well as down in the valley.
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Just my thought for the day.

1 comment:

e-Mom said...

I like your take on the valleys in our spiritual walk. They can be very productive indeed--as a time of rest and for recharging. Just like night and day, God created both for a purpose. A wonderful thought for the day!