Walk through the valley

Mountains and valleys. We seem, as spiritual beings, to desire the mountain top experience with God.  In Acts chapter, Peter has quite a mountain top experience with God.  Not only does he have a vision, but God also changes his understanding of the gospel message.  That’s quite a mountain top!  Then comes chapter 11.  He is questioned about his actions and has to defend them.  The displaced Christians of chapter 9 are moving to new places.  There is even a famine for which the new Christians have to prepare.  Talk about a valley!
Our lives are like that, aren’t they?  We crave the mountain top and dread the valley.  Yet, isn’t that where the true test of faithfulness lies?  It lies in the valley.  It lies in whatever may follow the mountain top.  A couple of weeks ago I had my mountain top.  I went to an excellent conference on the pastor’s life of prayer.  I learned much about my own prayer life and the prayer life that God’s Word challenges me to have.  It was great!
Then, I came home.  I had daily responsibilities.  I had crunched schedules.  I faced sleepiness, and sick kids, and sermon deadlines, and the like.  I must admit it – it was easier to pray when I was on the mountain.  My faithfulness was tested (and is still being tested) here in the valley.  It is being tested as I live in what comes next.
How about you?  Are you saying yes to Jesus in the valley like you would on the mountain?  One of my points on Sunday was that the disciples made the most of their opportunities when they weren’t where they wanted to be.  They were kicked out of their homes.  They were exiles due to persecution.  Yet, they used the exile to proclaim the glory of Jesus.  A gentile Pentecost ensued in Antioch.  It happened all because a group of displaced Jewish Christians saw fit to see how God could use their sorrow to His glory.  Are you and I ready to live for Jesus in the valley too?  Oh, how I want to see the opportunities all around me, especially when I am in the valley!

Something to think about,
Pastor John

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