Friday, January 26, 2018

Mountains and Valleys

Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth; The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken” – Isaiah 40:4-5

Our lives are filled with highs and lows.  Lately all around me there seem to be lows.  There are sick friends, children fighting horrible diseases, destruction of strong families, financial struggles, and the list goes on and on.  As I drove home yesterday God showed me something.  As I drove in the dark, which is something I don’t often do because I can’t see well at night, I was following Don’s tail lights.  But if he went down a hill before I did, I couldn’t see him.  I’d have to just follow in faith – and then a few seconds later, there he would be. 

Going through life is much like that.  We are sometimes in such a low that we cannot see over the mountains that surround us.  Or we’re on such a high mountain top, with everything right in our little world that we don’t see what’s coming up the mountain to drag us back down. 

Today, regardless of where you are – a mountain or a valley – realize these three things, and find your joy and hope.

First, God is never taken by surprise.  Isaiah 46:9-10 says that God has declared the end from the beginning.  He is omniscient, knowing all actualities and possibilities.  We walk through this life not knowing what the next moment will bring, much like my driving in the dark.  But we can all have faith that God has seen them already, and is leading us to them, and through them. 

Secondly, realize God has a plan for your entire life filled with mountain highs and desperate valleys – and it’s a good plan!  Jeremiah 29:11 says that His plan for us are for good, not evil, and they offer us a future and hope.  He knew us before we were even formed in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5), every cell of our body was part of His perfect construction plan.  Every moment, every single day is designed for you with a purpose that only the plan maker can fully grasp.   He will complete that plan, as stated in Philippians 1:6 “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ”.  Look at the paths of people like Moses, David, Joseph, and Jacob in the Bible.  Their lives overflowed with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.  But they became great because they leaned on God in the difficult times, and continued to follow him. 

Lastly, find hope in knowing that one day, God has promised to raise the valleys, lower the mountains,  make the crooked times in your life straight, and the rough places smooth.  One day you will see and know why your life plan was filled with potholes and ditches, as well as elevated days (Isaiah 40:4-5).  The glory of God will be revealed in your life if you continue to follow His lead.    

Looking back at my ride home last night, I’m grateful to have had Don’s tail lights to follow.  His vision is clear, and he drives home at night all week long.  He’s experienced at handling the dark, and knows where the hills are and the valleys, and the curves and crooks, the entire way home.  Likewise, God knows where we’re going to hit a bump and a curve will come out of nowhere.  Those are good reasons to follow Him closely.  What better guide can you have through this life than to follow the one who holds the blueprinted plan of your life?  Lean on Him in prayer in the tough times and praise Him in the good times.



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