Mountains and Valleys
". . . it's good for us to be here: . . ." Mark 9:5
Consistency is a dream. Life is full of ups and downs, highs and lows, mountains and valleys. If one were to graph their life of faith, it would be marked by jagged extremity. For the believer, the very thought of inconsistency creates condemnation. But it shouldn't. Jesus had His share of mountains and valleys.
Jesus craved the mountains, His heart longed to be beyond the voices of the crowd where He found the comfort of the Father. He often went there to pray. When all went to their homes, He went to the Mount of Olives. There, He was revitalized and renewed. It was on a mountain He preached His sermon. It was a hill on which He died. The mountain in Galilee was where He met His disciples after the resurrection. It was from Olivet He ascended into heaven. Now, here for a brief moment, it's the mountain inhabited by the height of God’s presence.
Peter is awed and amazed, he believes no spot on earth could be as glorious as this place and no experience could ever match such happiness. So, Peter pleas to set up camp and linger in the enchantment, but Peter had forgotten the crowd down below in the valley.
There is a time for the mountaintop and a time for the valley, but no disciple should live entirely in either. The peaks are necessary. It's a time in God’s presence away from the stress and strain of life. It's a time to be stirred, renewed, and refreshed, to get in the grace of God. Just when you think you can no longer bear the long weary days, the unrelenting grind of the world’s traffic, He leads you up to a mountain to be transformed – to have the heart and mind calmed by beholding His beauty. Exhaustion, weariness, and dullness are sure signs it's been too long since we've been on a mountaintop with Jesus.
The valleys are necessary, too. Every disciple has to know how to live in the midst of the chaos and the crowd. What is revealed on the mountain must be taken into the valley. What is given on the mountain is to be used through exercising of our character, making holy choices in the daily duties of life. The valley is our arena of our service to God. It's where we learn to press on. The secret to succeeding in the valley, is that we never lose what we learned on the mountaintop.
Which do you most need, the mountain or the valley? Do you need to come closer, nearer and further up? Do you need to stop lingering and get busy living your faith?