Valleys & Mountains

Life is difficult. But you are loved,”  said the Horse to the boy in Charlie Mackesy’s: The Boy, the mole, the fox and the Horse.

Life is filled with valleys and mountains. Much like the Israelites’ journey out of Egypt and into the Promised Land, our journey through this life is marked by low, lonely, challenging trials and valley moments as well as breakthrough, victorious, all-is-well, awe-inspiring mountaintop views. But it is what God does in between that is truly remarkable.

All throughout the Bible God makes himself known in spectacular ways on mountaintops. We should aim for the mountaintops. For breakthroughs and victories over our issues, insecurities, illnesses,
and enemies. No doubt, we need victories, and lots of them. But what if you feel like you are treading water, and the mountains seem to move further and further away? Disillusioned and discontent by the dwindling view of the mountain, we can miss what God is doing in the valley and the plains.
On a hill, God’s only son was sacrificed. At that moment, God came down from His mountain, and He meets us in our valleys. Preacher Katia Adams said: “Maturity in the world looks like independence
but maturity in God’s kingdom looks like greater dependence”.
Wandering in the valleys and climbing treacherous mountains can bring us back to our knees. In the wilderness, the Israelites were completely dependent on God for guidance, provision, and
protection. But He had to bring them into that uncomfortable place so they would look to Him again.
But herein lies the key. HIS FACE. The desperate cry of our hearts brings about a posture of dependence and teachability that we lose in amongst the thorns of this world. Matthew 13 teaches that the seed sown amongst the thorns is choked by the thorns and bears no fruit. Jesus explains that the thorns represent the worries, distractions, and riches of this world. Lists of the worries and distractions would take up multiple pages. Even seemingly righteous worries, like Martha of Bethany more concerned with serving Jesus rather than sitting down and learning from Him, can be thorns.

So, what do we do? What is the solution?
Seek, seek again and keep seeking Jesus. A steady stream of seeking His face should mark our lives. Even, and especially when it’s hard or inconvenient, when you are too tired and way too busy. Seek Him. Read God’s Word and hide His life-giving words in your heart. Tell your Father all your concerns. Pray, petition and praise until God himself settles your heart. Worship him in the valley.
And while you wait to ascend the mountaintop, do as waiters do and serve. Don’t stop being Jesus’ hands and feet while life is difficult. That’s what the enemy wants you to do. “Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we are in. Study how he did it.
Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – the exhilarating finish in and with God – He could put up with anything along the way.” Hebrews 12:1-3 MSG
God our Father meets you where you are at. If you let Him, He will encourage and strengthen you and when you lose sight of Him, He leans down, grabs your hand, and saves you from drowning. In
the valley, the Shepherd makes you lie down in green pastures, and He leads you beside still waters.

By Chantal Janse van Vuuren