Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mountains and Valleys


MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS

Growing up in Mississippi, I never knew any mountains besides our own “Wicker Mountain” until I visited the Smoky Mountains as a pre-teen with my parents. We’ve been to the mountains many times now but it always takes my breath away. Several years ago my family and I were able to spend a delightful week in the mountains of North Carolina visiting friends. The friends we visited are mountain born and raised so they knew where to take us to see the best sights. After we got home I started thinking about all the things we had seen and experienced while there. We sometimes drove on the Blue Ridge Parkway and sometimes on a narrow (!), one lane road that curled to the top of Table Rock Mountain. We saw ski resorts and beautiful summer homes built on the sheer face of the mountain. I couldn’t help but wonder if any of the people who make their homes there in the mountains ever take the view for granted. Yes, the mountains were grand but also sometimes scary. On one especially steep, winding mountain road it seemed that at every curve one of our friends would say, “so and so got killed here,” or “so and so ran off the road here and plunged to his death.”

But we couldn’t keep going up and up forever. We had to come down the mountain sometime. And then we saw the valleys! Beautiful green valleys! Picture book looking farms and churches were nestled down there with the mountains all around seeming to keep watch over them. If I had to live in mountain country, I believe I would want to live in one of those peaceful looking valleys. On the other hand, my children, who are more adventurous, would most likely choose to live hanging out over the side of a mountain !

After safely arriving back in good ole Mississippi, I began to think about the mountains and valleys I had seen on vacation. So often in my life the Lord uses His creation to teach me lessons. Most of us think we would like to constantly be having a “mountain top experience” in life. Not many would chose a “valley experience” because we normally equate a valley with bad things. But this is not always so. We saw beautiful expensive homes on top of the mountains but these were only SUMMER homes. The weather up there is too bad to live there in the winter. On the other hand, the valley can be a place of warmth and safety in the winter.

We must all face the mountains and valleys that come into our lives. How wonderful if we could just be content to live where the Lord puts us. If it is on a mountain…..He will be there to share the beauty of the view with us and He will also be there to help us down the steep mountain path as we head for our valley. If we are now in a valley…..He will be there to show us the hidden streams and flowers and the beautiful mountains all around us. Remember….God is faithful and will not put us anywhere where He is not already there.

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121: 1 (KJV)

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Psalm 23: 4 (KJV)

May God bless each of you today is my prayer!

Marilyn

7 comments:

Deborah said...

Amen! Great story, Marilyn.

Mary said...

Reading your post brought back a memory. When I was very young, I was at church with my mother and different ones were sharing, we called it "testifying." I can almost see the sweet expression of my mother's face. She said, "The most beautiful flowers grow in the valley." I knew that my mother was going through a very difficult time in her life. I didn't really understand then, but now I do. . . and it is so true!

mary

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Marilyn:
One of my favorite reads by Oswald Chambers speaks to the valleys...

He says, in essence, that God gives us a vision and then he takes us down into the valley to hammer out that vision. It's in the valley where vision finds its clarity.

I like that, and girl...

I love me some mountains. I will live in the mountains some day. Windy roads and all. It's just easier for me to find God in the mountains.

peace~elaine

Joyful said...

Marilyn I love the visuals this post has caused my mind to imagine.

I too was thinking of Oswald Chambers writings as I read this. Elaine's quote is one of my favourites.

There's a song I remember that says, "I'd love to live on a mountaintop, celebrating with the Lord, I'd love to live on a mountaintop, 'cause I'd like to feel my spirit soar. But, I've got to come down from that mountaintop, to the people in the valley below, so they can know of the mountain of the Lord."

Sharing Him and experiencing Him on the mountain and in the valley,
Joy

Kay Martin said...

Being a mountain gal, I loved this post. Lately with so many changes in my life I am coming to see that God loves drama and all around us is evidence of this in nature.

I think you made a great point about people taking the views for granted due to familiarity. A few years ago I made the decision to intentionally take in every sunrise and sunset that I could view. The colors in the sky are never the same on any two given days. No matter how "plain" we think our environment may be; we have the sky.

Did you take many pictures during that week? I love your photograpy.

ThreeGirlyGirls said...

Great post!! I can most definetely relate after the week I've had, but you are so right our eyes have to be on Him!! Because the mountains and valleys are just going to come.

Love it!

Leah said...

Marilyn,

I love my mountains and we live smack in the middle of them here in North GA. So many people don't know that Georgia has mountains!!

I had myself a mountaintop experience this weekend, let me tell you. I'll post about it later in the week when I get pictures organized.

Thanks for your email and your prayers.

Leah