Ever notice how life, how faith, is filled with peaks and valleys? When you’re on the peak, you can see the horizon, the air is clear, your world is full of life, and joy imbues every aspect of what you do. When you’re in the valley, its not bright and sunny like the peak. Life crowds in and, at times, threatens to overwhelm you. You seem beset by life and trials. We tend to love the peaks and struggle in the valleys.
The above truth is true for you and for us. The last Farm Day was awesome. We had a great meal, lots of laughter, enjoyed teaching about Jesus and His love for us, and loved watching people enjoy what God provided. The next day, we were able to meet some friends in Chicago and enjoy the Chicago Art Museum. It was a lot of fun and a great time. This was one of our peaks. Watching our Lord move, resting in what He has given for us to enjoy, worshiping Him with our hearts and hands.
The following few weeks though were, have been, and are a struggle. While we were in Chicago, our air conditioner leaked and flooded our bedroom. We ended up with water damage and a mold problem. An old friend passed away. My pug was bitten by a spider and almost died. One of our kittens was killed. Our coop was raided by raccoons and we lost 2 chickens. (Technically though, it happened before the farm day) Then, to add some extra icing to the last couple of weeks, I was injured sending sheep to the butcher and now have to have surgery for a torn rotator cuff. We are exhausted. We feel spent. This is a decent little valley. Full of feeling financial strain, physical pain, frustration, and fear.
Here’s the deal. It’s easy to watch God when you are on the peak. However, It’s hard to look for Him in the valley. On the peak, we can see Him. Our hearts are aligned with His Heart. Our minds and spirits see Him clearly. In the valley, we get distracted. The unknown grabs us. The hurts, worries, and unknown future call to us. We take our eyes off of God. It’s easy to do. We are all guilty of doing it too. When we put our eyes and hearts on the valley, then we aren’t looking to God. We are looking to ourselves and our ends. It is then that we begin to sink. It is then that we feel the water and waves wash over us. It is then that we fear.
Oh how much like Peter am I. I feel full of fire…then the trial comes and I realize how much of my fire was from me versus Christ’s flame.
Peter walked on the water. He went out on the waves. He gazed upon our Lord and sank. But when he sank, Jesus was there. When Peter pulled his eyes off of the Son of God, he sank. Yet Jesus was there. When Peter sank, Jesus lifted him up and loved him. Chided him, “Oh you little of faith…why did you doubt?”, and loved him.
When you are walking hand in hand with Christ, and you exit the valley, you realize it was in the valley that you saw God move. It was in the valley that you tasted God’s goodness, His grace, His mercy. It was in the valley that you learn to lean on Him, trust Him, and replace your sputtering internal fire with His unquenchable flame.
Praise God for the valleys. Relish Him on the peaks and worship Him regardless of where He leads you. God is so good. He will never leave us or forsake us.
Thank you Lord Jesus for this valley! May it be here that we see You, Hear you, know You, and love You!