At the Mountaintop or Deep in the Valley?



Almost everyone recognizes that our lives are full of experiences that either put us on the “mountaintop” or leave us in the “valley.” Some believe that when you become a Christian you will only have “mountaintop” experiences and not have to deal with the “valley” experiences. “Mountaintop experiences” are wonderful. There are times when we see great spiritual victories and figuratively are on top of the world. We may recall our day of baptism and how excited we were to be in Christ. We may remember the day a loved one became a Christian and the joy that we felt for them. We may have been worshipping and gotten so caught up in the service that we forgot all about the distractions of life.

However, the reality is that when we leave the mountaintop we may descend into the valley. Think for a few moments about these characters from the Bible and feel their joy and their sadness. Moses must have been overjoyed to be in the presence of the Lord on Mount Sinai. However, when he left the mountaintop, he descended into the reality of the children of Israel worshipping a golden calf. Imagine the thrill that Peter, James, and John felt standing on the Mount of Transfiguration and seeing, Moses, Elijah, and Christ before them. While descending the mount, they had to confront their failure in casting out a demon in a child. Elijah was overcome with joy at defeating the 450 prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. The fire from heaven totally consumed the false prophets, yet when Elijah came down from the mount he was overwhelmed by the sinfulness of Israel. He thought he was the only prophet of God alive and asked God to take his life.

The reality of life is that there are going to be deep “valleys” when we must leave the mountaintops. Life probably has more “valley moments” than it does “mountaintop moments.” Situations develop and doubts and fears arise that may threaten our faith. When we look deeply into the lives of our Biblical heroes, we see that clouds of adversity surrounded them at times. All mankind has “valleys,” but Christians have something others do not. When we are walking in the “valley of death” may we proclaim, “I will fear no evil for You are with me. Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

While we should rejoice in our “mountaintop” experiences, we should also thank God for His help in our “valley” moments.