Two weeks ago today my family and I were blessed to attend the opening services of the Chamber’s Creek Association in Dallas, Texas. The Lord made his presence manifest throughout the meeting in the singing, praying and preaching. That meeting was one of many in the past few months that lifted me up on a mountain top and made me feel closer to the Lord. What a beautiful time of rejoicing and praising God it was.
However, as wonderful as that weekend and other meeting weekends are we also understand that what we experience during those times is often not the reality for the world we live in outside of church. As soon as we leave those wonderful experiences Satan begins to use the things of this world to bring us down. Before long that mountain top we were on is gone and we are thrust back into a valley.
While none of us want to experience the valleys of this life — how we handle those valleys will shape our faith. Christ may seem further from us in those times, but there is a great deal we can learn from seeing Christ from afar. He is still visible while we are yet in the valleys.
“Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.” (Genesis 22:4-5)
As we come to these verses in the 22nd chapter of Genesis we find Abraham and Isaac headed to the mount where Abraham was to offer Isaac as a sacrifice to God. In verse 4 we are told that Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place where the sacrifice was to occur. The fact that he lifted up his eyes tells us that Abraham was in a literal valley, but also very much in an emotional one as well, when he said the words in verse five. Abraham did not know what awaited him on that mountain, but he trusted that whatever was there the Lord would provide for him. He trusted the Lord in his lowest of hours. Because of this trust, in verse five, Abraham is able to tell his servants that he is going to go worship with Isaac and that they both will return again. Abraham could not know how that would take place but he believed in God and trusted in his promises. He saw God from the valley.
The question for us today is this — are we able to see God from the valleys of our lives? When we reach those lowest points in our lives are we able to lift up our eyes are see God from afar? It is my earnest hope and prayer for you as for me that each day our faith is growing that we might be able to see God whether on the mountain tops or in the low places of life. We are not promised that life will be easy, or that we might reside always on the mountain tops, but we are promised the comfort of a God that loves us and will not forsake us.
If you are able to see God from the valleys, then the rejoicing on the mountain tops should be that much greater!!
Let us encourage one another in the days to come to be in the House of the Lord this weekend.
From the Desk of the Pastor,
May the Lord Bless you is our prayer — Elder J.W. Cunningham