“I just had a mountaintop experience!”
We’ve heard that kind of comment before, haven’t we? What does that really mean? Is it supposed to mean something high and exhilarating? Something positive? Something intensely satisfactory? Something good?
Well, it CAN be. I have been on top of Mt. Snow and Mt. Killington skiing (both in Vermont) and there WAS exhilaration going down those slopes. But I’ve been on top of Mount Washington in Hew Hampshire, and to be blown around with straight line winds at over 100 MPH is scary. There are videos of people struggling to even stay on their feet. This is not exactly a “positive” experience. So, the expression is compromised when all aspects are considered.
“I’m down in the valley right now, and it’s tough.”
We’ve heard that kind of comment before, haven’t we? What does that really mean? Is it supposed to mean something low and sorrowful? Something negative? Something intensely painful? Something bad?
Well, it CAN be. When our local Cincinnati rivers are at normal levels and within its banks, there is always lush vegetation around. It is filled with beautiful fauna and a myriad of color. So, that is not exactly a “negative” experience. But recently, I’ve been in a river valley after a prolonged rainfall here in Cincinnati, and to seeparking lots, homes and golf courses flooded out, and debris from people’s yards swiftly cascading down in angry flood waters is mournful. So, the expression is compromised when all aspects are considered.
- Noah ended up on Mt. Ararat. It was positive he finally landed, but it must have been stressful.
- Abraham was told he would have a son in his old age and be called the father of nations. Yet he was told by God to sacrifice his only son on Mt. Moriah. Is that instruction considered a “mountaintop” experience. It ended up God providing the solution, tough.
- Moses was told at Mt. Horeb to take off his shoes when seeing a burning bush. But he wasn’t there for fun. He was fleeing after slaying an Egyptian.
There are so many people who were in “valleys” and on “mountaintops” that give us direction for God to lead.
But what if we are NOT on a mountaintop, or NOT in a valley? Is that a bad thing? Is that something that is maybe “normal”? Is there such a thing as “averaging” everyone’s life and everyone experiencing the same thing at the same time? Of course not.
Remember the old expression: “50% of the people around you are BELOW average.” That means 50% of the people around you are ABOVE average. Funny, true, but very misleading. But the same principle can apply to a spiritual condition. There are so many around you who are really struggling, and have to grapple with so many things that seem out of alignment. Our job is to sense that, and reach out to join them with Godly guidance. On the other hand, there are so many that seem to be doing well and seem to have their act together. It is our job to LET THEM help us in times when we feel beat up and unappreciated. It is not wrong to help and be helped.
I like exhilaration, but I can’t breathe on top of Mt. Everest. I don’t like trouble, but being in the valley fishing on a calm day is not bad. But people around us need to know the Lord is in control of mountaintops AND valleys.
“Lord, thank You for providing ways to meet see You in every situation, directing our steps and circumstances to bring out the highest purpose You have prepared us for. Bring vision that it is necessary to experience all kinds of life’s conditions as we strive for bringing many into Your kingdom; in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”