mountain valley faith

Life is not going to be perfect at any point this side of heaven.

And that imperfectness leads to a longing for heaven –

I look forward to that day when I will be in the presence of God, all of the messes of the world faded away, His glory filling up all of the space around me!

What do I do until then?

Be prepared for a journey.

I am reminded time and time again that our life on this earth is a journey – and most of the time it is not a journey that looks like the flat plains of the Midwest. Have you seen how flat some of the parts of Illinois are? No, our journey here can sometimes look more like the ups and downs of the Rocky Mountains.

We have the ‘Top of the hill’ part of the journey:
Psalm 40:2-3. He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.

Then there is the part on the way down:
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. Psalm 46:1-3

The bottom of the valley:
From the end of the earth will I cry to you. When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Psalms 61:2

Climbing back up the hill:
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

How do you do the bottom of the valley?
On one occasion I used google and a concordance and a couple of books on God’s promises, assembled 57 of my ‘top ten’ verses – typed them out, stapled together the 5 sheets of paper, and stuck them in a place where I could pull them out at a moment’s notice. It got highlighted, coffee spilled on it, wrinkled, cried over. I love that list.

Some of the verses on that list? Zephaniah 3:17, Isaiah 55:8-9, Jeremiah 29:13, Romans 8:28, Romans 8:26, Ephesians 3:17-21, 1 Corinthians 10:13, 1 John 3:1.

Reminders of who God is, how powerful and how loving He is, how ever-present He is in my life. Reminders that He is the rock that I cling to.

How do you do the top of the mountain?
There are many different ways to do the top of the mountain (maybe a happy dance!) – gratitude is usually the first thought of mine – and thanksgiving, because I know enough to know that I did not get to the mountain top without the working of our heavenly Father. And basking in the moment, because I know that my journey will not keep me on the mountain top for long, but I know that God will bring me there again.

I am thankful for the ‘Rocky Mountains’. I appreciate (sometimes not until after the fact) each of the parts of the journey for the ways I grow through each season or cycle: the determination and focus and faith of the trip up the side of the mountain, the moments of victory and giddy euphoria and thankfulness at the top of the mountain, the uncertainty, self-reflection, seeking out support and answers from God on my way down the mountain, the times in the valley when I know that God’s grace and mercy is holding me tight until it is time once again for the climb. Every mountain is different – and I don’t know what is over the next little rise in front of me. But I have the best companion on my journey through this life. My heavenly Father walks through every bit of it with me. I have to remember – stop and rest with Him often – to appreciate the beauty and the things there are to see on every part of the journey!

IMG_37091Renee Borgmann is Messiah’s Director of Children’s Ministry.  On this blog she writes and reflects about Bible lessons that the children of Messiah learn throughout the year.

© 2015 Messiah Lutheran Church