I don’t know about you, but I could use some mountain top moments. Being at the top of the mountain is awesome…beautiful views, quiet, peaceful, very few people, uncomplicated…just God and you. Man, I could use some of that.
The truth be known, there may be beautiful panoramic views but there is very little growth at the top of the mountain where the soil is rocky. The views from the mountain top are actually of the valley below where beautiful, lush growth occurs or views of majestic cities can be seen. In the valley is where things happen not at the mountain top.
Life in the valley is tough. The work is hard. Dealing with people is complicated and hurtful. Solid relationships are difficult to develop. Friendships are underpinned by being vulnerable, forgiving and truthful. Cleaning your own stuff up isn’t easy either. It is difficult and sometimes almost impossible to work out of personal hurts, habits, and hang-ups. Yet, growing relationships and cleaning up your personal stuff is how you grow spiritually and develop maturity. In the valley is where it happens and growth occurs!
James 1:3-5 is incisive, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
- In the valley of “testing of your faith produces perseverance.” This could be a personal thing, working through a relationship, dealing with work, or leading a group before it gets to where it needs to be.
- Once “perseverance finishes its work,” you become “mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
- In the valley is where it happens, and growth occurs. Often, we prematurely bail out because of difficulties never allowing God to finish His work. We look for an easier path not giving perseverance time to work its way out.
Look at the progression taught in Romans 5:3-5, “We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” It starts in the valley leading to perseverance which produces character giving us hope that cleans up shame resulting with “God’s love…poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.” In the valley is where it happens and growth occurs!
Whatever your valley may be today, don’t bail out or run. Let perseverance have its way. You will be glad if you do. You will mature like never before and are able to look inside to see a wholeness which leads to peace. In the valley is where it happens and growth occurs!