When I’m in the Valley, He Points To The Mountain Top

I went through one of the darkest most difficult times in my life over a decade ago. I was deep in the Valley, suffering grief, loss, and  financial hardships. I literally could not see my way out: no light at the end of the tunnel. My ship was sinking, and I was desperate!

What I learned was….I was desperate for God! Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I got on my face before my loving and compassionate Father. He held my hand through every challenge; through every pain; through every shed tear; through every fear; through every attack; through my grief, anger, resentment,un-forgiveness, and isolation. He held my hand while I experienced every hard emotion of my rock bottom.

He taught me how to pray; how to find contentment and joy in the smallest of things. He taught me how to read His Word, and the Holy Spirit gave me understanding. He would encourage me every day to not give up. His grace taught me how to brush myself off as I made mistake after mistake. He taught me how to forgive, how to love Him, others and myself.  NO, my situation did not change right away, but my outlook did. He turned my focus from the valley toward the mountain where He was taking me.

“But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.” Psalm 3:3

God held my hand in the valley, all the while lifting my head toward the mountain top. I want to encourage you today.  If you are walking in the valley, you are not alone! Your Father is with you! I can assure you that this” valley season” will not last. Hold fast to hope! Hope fast to your faith! There is a mountain top waiting with your name on it!!!

“God Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not,  I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down relax My hold on you! Assuredly not!” Hebrews 13:5 ampc

“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 msg

Here & Now

I am farsighted, which means I can see things off in the distance more clearly than things that are near. The closer something is to my face, the more blurry it becomes. I need glasses to clear things up. This is how many of us live life: we can see our distant future so clearly, but we need spiritual glasses to help clear some things up.

It’s good to think ahead; to set future goals; to have forward thinking. But sometimes that means we gloss over the ‘here and now.’ We could even find ourselves dissatisfied with the ‘now’ life, in great anticipation of the better ‘future’ life.

God wants us to enjoy every step of our journey even if it isn’t fully what we’ve dreamed for ourselves, our family or our ministry. Let’s face, every moment isn’t going to be peaches and cream, Yes, it’s good to be organized and plan, but we shouldn’t be so preoccupied with future planning that we miss out on the beautiful ‘now’ moments.

Let me be clear, I believe in setting goals, and planning for our futures. But there’s something called balance. We aren’t supposed to chase down our future, we are supposed to chase God.  Mathew 6:33-34 “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” 

In and of ourselves we are powerless to plan and fulfill the ultimate future for ourselves. We need God’s guidance and direction. He has the plans, and He holds the future. Psalms 31:15 tells us that our “times” are in His hands. God is in control of how and when our future manifests itself. Until then, He wants us to enjoy living in the now.

God will speak to us at every step of our journey: not just in our future. He’s speaking to you now about now things AND future things! He doesn’t just give us joy and contentment for our future: He gives it now! Paul says he learned to live a contented life regardless of his circumstances. This means Paul had a ‘now’ contentment. He did not live in the world of ‘what if….’ or ‘one day…..’ Paul’s contentment was not rooted in his circumstances or life accomplishments: it was rooted in God.

Let’s not miss vital ‘now’ moments and opportunities by racing through life at break neck speeds. God wants you to enjoy your life now AND in the future.