Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Guided Tour

There are days when I feel as though I have been in the valley for so long that I can barely remember how life looks from the mountaintop. Those days are long...full of self-pity, doubt, defeat, darkness. On those days, the valley looks dank and desolate. I feel trapped, suffocating in the narrow, air-tight valley. I feel bound by the steep hills and mountains, which close me in on every side. The valley seems to stretch on forever, offering no escape. I long for the openness and the light that the mountaintop offers. I yearn to take deep, lasting breaths of the fresh, mountain air. Often, I have found that I feel closer to God on the mountaintop. It's easy to offer God praise, honor and glory when there is nothing to hinder my view. More often though, I find myself crying out to God, asking for help. Help to escape the darkness. Help to find brighter days in the comfort of the open air, in the warmth of the sun. There have been times when God has offered me just that kind of help, lifting me up and out of the valley, as only He can. There are also times, such as this, when God chooses to walk along with me. He lends me His eyes, helping me to find the beauty in the valley.

While the mountaintop offers beautiful, breathtaking, majestic views...the valley holds its own special kind of beauty. As we walk along the floor of the valley, He points out the fertile soil, ripe with beautiful flowers. Flowers that God has created for me to enjoy. Flowers that are much smaller, their beauty much less significant, when viewed from the mountaintop...if able to view them at all. As we walk along, I breathe in the fragrant air, which suddenly doesn't seem quite so suffocating. While looking around me, I notice how quiet and isolated the valley is, providing the perfect landscape for an intimate walk with God. It no longer seems inescapable, unending, all-consuming. He has chosen to meet me in this valley, not to carry me straight to the mountaintop, but to point out all of the gifts He has for me on the valley floor. As the riverbed recedes and the waters begin to evaporate, rather than finding myself parched and dry, I realize now, that God has met me here to quench my thirst, providing me with just enough strength to continue on. I begin to see just how much I would be missing out on, if I were still on top of the mountain. There is so much richness to be found here, if only I allow Him to take me by the hand, revealing His purpose for me in this valley experience. While it seems we can see forever on the mountaintop, from the valley floor I realize just how limited that view can be. I know there are things I am seeing here that would never come into focus from so far above, things that can only be seen through God's eyes. Every morning I ask God for more of Him and less of me. I don't want to miss anything He wants to show me on this guided tour of the valley.



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