Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Mountaintop

"A message from the high and towering God, who lives in Eternity, whose name is Holy: I live in the high and holy places, but also with the low-spirited, the spirit-crushed and what I do is put new spirit in them, get them up and on their feet again." Isaiah 57:15 The Message


There is nothing like being in the mountains. It is refreshing to get away from the daily grind to a place where the streams run crystal clear, the air is cool and smells of pine, and the only sound is the shush of wind through the trees. The mountaintop is a beautiful and restful place. It's a good metaphor for an exciting spiritual season. We love our mountaintop experiences—they leave us excited about God and spiritual life. Who would not prefer to live on a perpetual spiritual high?

But consider that the bottom land of the valley is where the soil is rich and deep, full of the nutrients needed to grow good things. We enjoy our heady mountaintop times more, but it's in the valley times we grow and produce fruit. When trouble overtakes us, we're accessible to God in ways we just aren't when everything's going great. There, we most recognize our need and cry out to the only One who can help us. Those valley times provide evidence of God's faithfulness and provision, which are mile markers on our journey. They become pillars which buttress our faith, making it strong. In the low places of darkness and humility, God confronts our rebellion, illuminates our fears and gently presses us to yield more deeply to Him. While not pleasant, the low times are also God's loving hand, directing, strengthening even carrying us safely to the end.

Then when each valley season ends—and they always do end—Jesus lifts us to the high place once again for refreshment and vision. There we glimpse Him waiting in the beauty of our far-country destination. There we receive strength and courage for the next leg of our journey with Him. Father, help me recognize that I am not abandoned in my valley times. You are there; tilling the soil, weeding and applying the fertilizer necessary to harvest an abundant crop in my life.


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