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 😄😉)–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. 😊