The Hills and Valleys
A few weeks ago, I traveled through the picturesque hills and valleys of the Salt River Canyon (pictured) with my family to our Southwest Area Campout. We chose this route because of predicted traffic on alternate roads. What seemed to be a shortcut certainly presented a challenging drive. The road is filled with sharp turns, sudden inclines and declines, and a guardrail with a very limited protective barrier that, in my opinion, is a little too close for comfort to the edge of the road.
In any case, my husband safely drove through what seemed like an obstacle course of hills and valleys, and we arrived safe at the camp.
I immediately thought of the parallel in our spiritual lives, and how our Lord is the God of the hills and valleys. There is a Christian contemporary song called “Hills and Valleys” by Tauren Wells that says whether we are on the mountaintop or in the valley, we are not alone. My favorite part of the song is: “No matter what I have, your grace is enough.” Having this realization allows me to accept the Lord’s will no matter what state I find myself in as described in Philippians 4:
“Not that I speak in respect of want: For I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”
Life certainly does have hills and valleys. There are things that happen that I feel so unequipped to handle, and there are times the Lord blesses me beyond what I could even ask or expect. In either case, the one constant is His grace and mercy. He extends grace when I am in the valley, and He extends grace when I am on top of the mountain. In either case, His grace and favor are unmerited.
As the song says, “No matter what I have, your grace is enough." In listening to an interview describing the story behind his song, Wells says that these words came to him: “When you are on the mountaintops of life, learn to bow low, and when you are in the valleys of life, learn to stand tall."
He eloquently explains that when we get to the mountain, we have to realize we didn’t get there on our own by doing something great, but it is because of God’s grace. Therefore, we need to remember to bow our head low and remain humble when God blesses us. In contrast, when we are in the valley, stand tall and look up to God and know that He is with us.
So, no matter what this day brings you, whether you are standing in a valley or at the top of a mountain, remember that through the Lord’s grace, He placed you there, and you are not alone. Rest assured His grace will carry you through the sharp turns, sudden inclines, and steep declines with the peace and protection that is greater than any guardrail — in addition, He gives you the confidence that you are not standing alone.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.