Valleys

Written by Julie

On September 21, 2020

It’s astounding how fast you can go from a mountaintop to a valley.

Three days last week my mom and I went to a vineyard and picked grapes. I’m not really a morning person, but I survived. And ya know what? I enjoyed those mornings. The sun was astounding each of those days, and the one day it looked like there were squiggles of gold in the pavement (thanks to the sun reflecting off the tar). Friday was really, really cold, but I sang (quietly) as I worked and started making up a new poem with the things I’ve experienced in the early morning and-and it all was good. I felt pretty close to God, and happy, and content.

Then I went home and did my school work, and was cold even though I had fuzzy pants and socks and a sweatshirt and an electric blanket on high heat. And by the time I was done, I had a fairly bad headache. On Saturday, I had cleaning and a bunch of laundry to do, and I had a headache for part of the day, and I was tired and started feeling kinda sorry for myself. . .
To top it all off, I didn’t do my devotions for three days in a row and hardly talked to God and was. just. struggling.

Let me reiterate: it’s astounding how fast you can go from a mountaintop to a valley. It’s like I was on top of the mountain, took a wrong step, and slipped and slid and rolled all the way to the bottom.

I think part of it is I’m a pretty emotional person; and when I feel good, I feel good, and when I feel bad, I feel bad. I try to control my mood swings and be more stable/consistent (and was doing pretty well, I think), but last weekend. . . *sigh*

But maybe there’s more to it. Maybe we need to plunge into the valley sometimes.

We can’t be happy all the time. Yes, there is the joy of the Lord, which we as Christians should have and show. But the joy of the Lord is different than happiness. Different than feeling good all the time.

We can’t be happy all the time. Can’t always be on the mountaintop, on top of the world, thrilled and filled and delighted and enjoying everything every moment. We live in a broken, fallen, sinful, sorrowful world. Evil and pain and confusion surround us. And we’re human. We get sad–it’s a part of life (at least, life on this earth).

And I believe the valleys–the trials, the struggles, the storms–are where God is most glorified. Where the most growth occurs. Where faith is most strengthened. Where the most prayers are made.

The valleys bring us closer to God. (If they don’t, well, that’s our choice.) Yes, standing on the top of a mountain makes us feel close to God (and we are), but the valleys really make us closer. They strengthen/grow/test our trust and faith and hope and patience and willingness to surrender, etc. They make us better.

And perhaps it’s because of our valleys that we can connect with non-Christians.
See, they don’t understand the mountaintop experience. Yes, they may have had times where they felt amazing and on top of everything and happy–but they haven’t experienced the mountaintop. The joy and thrill. The feeling of being so close to God and of Him being close to you.
It’s the valleys–the low times, the rough spots, the temptations and giving in to sins, the grief and darkness, the loneliness, etc.–that they can understand and relate with. They’ve been there. And somehow, meeting someone who’s been there–who’s gone through that and understands how they feel–can make them feel at least a little better, and it can connect both people. And that paves the way for witnessing. For telling about the tops of the mountains. For sharing about Jesus.

It doesn’t even have to be with an unbeliever. Telling of our valleys–and our mountaintops–can connect us with other Christians, can encourage them and give them hope. I know I’ve experienced that.

Good comes from the mountaintops. But good also comes from the valleys.

So why do we always dread it? Look down on it, on ourselves and others for being in it? I understand we can’t–shouldn’t–stay in the valley and constantly bring ourselves back to it. . . But is it wrong–is it so shameful–to take a walk (or crawl) through the valley? Does it make us less of a Christian, mean we’re not as close and similar to God as we should be?

/~/

That’s all I have right now. I know it’s rambling and disjointed and may not even make much sense, and that there’re some unanswered questions at the end; I apologize. Maybe in the next post–or in replies to comments (hint, hint šŸ˜„šŸ˜‰)–I’ll be able to say more. I don’t know if I really have answers though. The questions flowed through my fingers onto the screen, and I haven’t thought deeply about them. Maybe y’all can help me out. šŸ˜Š

		
Julie

Julie

Hi, I'm Julie, a 16-year-old lover of books, music, and Jesus. I'm a junior in high school (Abeka Academy) and have been blogging for two years. I also co-publish a digital magazine called Priceless geared toward teen girls. My desire is to use my words to glorify my Saviour and to encourage you in your walk with God. I'd love to hear from you!

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Brenna
Brenna
1 year ago

I believe God wants us to have victory all the time. Yet, we do go through temptation and struggles and grief-God doesn’t deny that. Instead He gives us so many promises so that we can overcome and bring even more glory to His name. There isn’t much to glory in a valley. But we should glory only in the Cross of Jesus Christ. When God is holding us, we can always get through, and keep going, no matter if He takes us to the breath- taking peaks, or the dark trials. We glory in Him, not in our circumstances. Because… Read more »

Matt
Matt
1 year ago

Valley’s are not fun, but we all must go through them occasionally. After all, how do we get to the next mountaintop without going through the valley? šŸ™‚ That being said, we can remind ourselves that Jesus is walking with us every step of the way. Psalm 23:4 – “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for THOU ART WITH ME; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” And yes, our life experiences, whether good or bad, are a great way to connect with others. Many times sharing a… Read more »