Mountaintops and Valleys

November 2005

Mountaintop experiences are great. You find yourself floating above the doubts of the world and see God’s hand at work in your life and the lives of those around you. The pastor of a church I was visiting recently was sending a group of people off to Jamaica and gave a really neat sermonette about what it means to be on the mountaintop. He said that it was going to be an exhiliarating time fo great clarity, when the people would bless and be blessed. They were going to face hardships, but by God’s grace would overcome them. And they should be aware at every moment that they were on a mountaintop experience and no longer in the valley. And tin this he also prepared them for returning to the valley afterwards.

The thing that I found myself pondering in this last week as I came off of a mountaintop of a different sort was how murky the valleys really are. You find your clarity has been robbed and the Enemy tries to get you to forget the beauty you left behind. I have realized how immensely important it is to cling to the fresh air and clarity of the mountaintop experiences. The memory of those help in the valley, but the valley is always the preparation for the mountaintop.

I was reading in Psalm 56 and found what David wrote there to be especially relevant to what I’m learning here.

In God, whose word I praise,
In the Lord whose word I praise,
In God I have put my trust,
I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?

     — Psalm 56:10-11 (NASB)

I am included in that “man”. God can protect me even from myself in the valleys. He can wrap His arms around me and make the valley a true place of growth despite the doubts and worries that I live in here. And as I, the melancholic, cling to this, I find myself uplifted even in the fogginess and the valley becomes a place of springs that feeds and strengthens. I know this to be true, though I cannot feel it at the moment and now I have peace.