I have spent part of this week surrounded by the mountains of West Virginia. Nearly every direction beauty abounds. Trees seem to grow in mid air as they go up the mountain and appear to reach into the clouds. For every mountain that I have viewed they were always followed by a valley. Valleys and mountains go together like Oreos and milk. One just seems to call for the other. As lovely as the mountains are, the valleys are where most of the cities and towns are located. Mountains and valleys seem to illustrate the journey of life. Remember the mountain top experiences? High points and great times. Places of rarefied air are not meant to be places of permanent settlements. We need mountain tops. Only on a mountain top can you gain perspective. From the vantage point of the mountain top you see far places and see breathtaking views. You have a sense of place and the exhilaration is hard to describe. We visit the mountain tops, yet we mostly live in the valley below. In the land below is where most of our days are lived. In the valley we sometimes have the sun blocked and fail to see clearly. This week I often thought of the Scripture verse “I will lift up my eyes unto the hills…” It is hard not to lift your eyes when you are surrounded by mountains and hills. The verse reminds us that regardless of what is happening we need to lift our eyes and be reminded that God is aware of where we are and what we are going through.
This week I went on a hike with the pastor and his little dog Jesse. It was an up and down trail over rocks and tree roots. Sometimes it seem straight up and sometimes the decline was extremely steep. The reward was being able to view the large bridge that crosses the gorge. The view was amazing. The trip there seemed more than worthwhile looking out across the mountains and trees and the water below. You have to do some climbing to enjoy the view. Life works that way. At times the climb is hard, difficult and even tiring. But oh the views. If we stay in the same place we are today, we will see what we have always seen. Even valleys are more beautiful when viewed from a mountaintop. On my recent trip up a West Virginian mountain, the dog and I were glad for the view, but the height made both of skittish. As a matter of fact the dog and I were glad when we started back home. On the mountain, home and everything about it looks much better.
We need both the mountains and the valleys to build a life and to trust God for His provision in both places. I thank God for both the mountains as well as the valleys of my life. He is Lord on mountains, valleys and everyplace in between.