Last summer we travelled in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The white snowy mountain peaks are stunning in the bright sunlight against the background of the cerulean blue sky. By contrast, the deep valleys are a variegated hue of green tones as the trees and lush vegetation fill the valley floor. The bottom of the valleys often can’t be seen due to the lack of sunlight reaching through the dense vegetation.
As we drive the lower mountain roads, the views of mountains and valleys create stunning vistas to entertain our eyes. Blue lakes nestled in between the rising mountain backgrounds. Bright, colourful wildflowers bloom against the backdrop of deep green grasses and tall evergreen trees. The excitement of an occasional glimpse of wildlife wandering out of the forest to forage for food near the roadway. Our God has created a fantastic world for our pleasure to enjoy!
As I gape at the natural wonder and beauty of our passing landscapes I am reminded that the grandeur of the mountains isn’t possible without the depth of the valleys.
Our lives are similar. It is easy to see the amazing glory of God in our lives when we are experiencing the wonder, awe and joy of our mountaintop experiences. It’s easy to rejoice when there is happiness, success and celebration and we can see the goodness of God in our lives or the fulfillment of dreams and prayers.
However, as we experience deep valleys such as grief, sorrow, loss, sadness or depression, we may feel like the sunlight of God doesn’t reach into the depth of our suffering valley.
But the God of the mountains is still the God of the valleys. His very nature doesn’t change, even when our feelings or circumstances do. My emotions and feelings change, but God’s faithfulness doesn’t.
“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” (Psalm 139:7-12)
When I am in the dark depths of a valley experience, I need to be reminded God is with me just as much as He is when I’m on the top of a mountain peak experience.
As this psalmist says, God is with me in the heavens AND the depths. I can’t escape his goodness, love, mercy and faithfulness in my life if I am trusting him. I can look to God for comfort and reassurance when I’m in the darkness of a valley because the darkness isn’t dark to God. I know he is with me and I am secure because his right hand holds me fast. I am also comforted by knowing there is a purpose to the valleys in my life because without valleys there would be no mountain tops.
Whatever your experience today, know the God of the universe sees you and is with you. Even in the valley.