Mountain tops and valleys, this is life in a nutshell.
Every day we experience highs and lows.
There are also seasons of life. Mountain top seasons where all is well and there are few worries. The bills are easily paid and the family is healthy. Then there are the Valley seasons where you feel like Job wondering when the next catastrophe is coming. I know that we can all relate. A Pastor friend is constantly saying that you are either in the valley, coming out of the valley, or heading into the valley. Isn’t that the truth? Let’s think about mountains and valleys. If you live in or have ever been anywhere around mountains, you know that it is impossible to keep going and stay on the mountain top. At some point you will drop into a valley; this is necessary in order to reach the next peak.
I love to hike. It’s something that my husband and I enjoy doing together and I have a dear friend who shares this love as well. She is always up for a new adventure.
Have you ever been hiking on a new trail that you were unfamiliar with?
I have done this many times and ultimately at some point I find myself wondering if I’m ever going to reach the top. When am I going to break through and finally see the breathtaking view I know is there, just beyond the trees?
Have you ever heard the term “you can’t see the forest for the trees”? That is exactly what I’m talking about here. There have been so many times that I felt like I was at my absolute lowest and there was no way I would ever find my way out only to have God show up in a miraculous way and open the trees up to reveal the mountain top blessing that He was preparing me for.
Let’s consider Elijah.
When you have time, check out the whole story here. (1 Kings 16:29-19:21)
King Ahab had come to the throne in Israel and “did evil in the sight of the LORD, more than all who were before him.” (16:30) He worshiped Baal and even built a temple to this false god in Samaria. “Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him.” (16:33) I think we can all agree that Ahab was just evil. Because of this evil, Elijah, the man of God, proclaims a drought. This drought was so severe that the dew did not even form. (17:1) During this drought, God took care of Elijah using ravens and a widow. I think having God send ravens to bring me bread and meat morning and evening would definitely boost my faith! How about you?
Definite mountain top experience? Let’s just say we are in the foothills…
Three years pass of severe drought and all the while God is providing for Elijah and greatly blessing a widow in the process. (17:8-24)
God then tells Elijah to go and present himself to the evil king Ahab. He plans to prove that He alone is God and then bring rain back to a parched, drought ravaged land.
All the people and prophets of Baal are gathered together in one place. Elijah challenges them to each offer a bull as a sacrifice to their respective God/god. Elijah says, “then you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD; and the God who answers by fire, He is God.” and the people agreed. (18:20-24)
If you read the story, you’ll see that the people prepared their sacrifice to Baal and called on him all day in a variety of ways to no avail. “But there was no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention” (18:26-29)
Then Elijah repaired the altar of the LORD and placed the bull upon the altar. He then proceeded to saturate the offering, the altar, and the trench encompassing the altar with water. (18:30-35)
The LORD God, the one true God, not only heard but Elijah, but “sent fire from heaven to consume the burnt sacrifice, the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench.” and the people fell on their faces and said, “The LORD, He is God! The LORD, He is God!” Elijah executed all the prophets of Baal. Then God sent rain to the drought ravaged land (18:38-46)
Definite mountain top experience!
Absolutely nothing could top this, right? Elijah has gained the upper hand. The people have declared that the LORD God is the one true God. All is well, order has been restored. Right?
Until Elijah hears that because of what he has done, Jezebel won’t rest until he is dead. So what does he do? He flees for his life. He finds himself in the deepest valley praying to LORD that he might just die and be done!!! (19:1-4)
Definite valley of the lowest kind.
God again provides for Elijah in miraculous ways and brings him right back to the mountain top, quite literally. (19:5-12)
God is so very good. He can be trusted whether we are on the mountain top or in the valley. He will work it all for our good and His glory!
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