also inhabits the valleys” (Woodrow Kroll).
Our life is composed of ups and downs. When we soar to the top of the mountain it is easy to feel the presence of God. Things are going great, confidence is high and so is our faith. Its like we can almost see heaven from the top of the peak we’re on. Blue skies, great vistas and that exhilarating feeling that all is well with the world.
David knew about mountain tops. He had a slew of them. He also knew about the valleys. He had a slew of them too. The psalms we love from him are more valley oriented than mountain top. Our favorite is about the deepest valley there is, death.
So what happens when we fall into a valley in our life? Too low to see heaven, too far to reach out and touch God. Things are going south as we say and our confidence is shaken and our faith is a bit wobbly. Valleys are no fun. Eric Clapton sings, “Nobody loves you when you’re down and out.” That’s how we feel in the valley; all alone and lonely. Where are you God? is our cry of despair.
Eric’s song is wrong. Our gut feeling is wrong. God inhabits the valleys of our lives. He is as close in the valley as he is on the mountain top. He’s as near as we need him to be. God loves us when we’re up and when we’re down. In fact, while we were yet in the valley of sin, God sent his son to die on a tree on the top of a hill. Jesus was lifted up and he lifts us up as well.
“Yea though I walk through the valley of ….” You put your valley there in the blanks. Then finish the psalm. “You are with me.” Jesus said, “I will never leave you.” On stormy seas Jesus walks to us. In the darkest hour of our lives, Jesus brings us light. If we go to the highest height, or sink to the lowest depth, he is there.
If Jesus is your Lord you will never walk alone. You will never hurt alone or cry alone. Trust him, trust him, he will deliver you from the deepest pit and place you on the highest high. We join Paul in thanking God for his unspeakable gift, who delivers us from our valleys.