Mt. Carmel: Wikipedia.
I listen to Annie F. Downs who has a podcast called, “That’s Sounds Fun.” I listen to her on Spotify which also has a huge library of music. Sometimes Annie has musicians on her show. When she does, I go listen to some of their songs. I’ve found many beautiful Christian music this way. Listening to songs about God makes my heart soar, and there are always good lessons in the lyrics.
One song I found recently is called, “Hills and Valleys,” sung by Tauren Wells. It is my favorite song right now. What I find in Christian music is that I can put myself in the lyrics or I think of the people from the Bible. “Hills and Valleys” speaks to the fact we all go through highs and lows in our spiritual lives. I wish I had known that as a young Christian because then I might not have been so despairing in my low times. I thought I was a bad Christian and I just didn’t know how to live the life and have faith like other Christians.
When I first heard this song, I imagined myself on hills and going through valleys. But I’m afraid my hills aren’t very inspiring. With my psychological makeup I have been mostly slogging through valleys. So, I thought about people in the Bible. First there is Moses. He was on the mountaintop with God. He spoke face to face with God. He was given the tablets of the Ten Commandments written with God’s own finger. But then there were his valleys. He spent 40 years travelling around the desert with a bunch of people that kept complaining until he finally lost his temper and God did not appreciate it. Still, like the song says, he kept his eyes on God. He didn’t turn away. And he was a humble man He knew he didn’t get to that mountaintop on his own. It was God who made him what he was, a great man of faith, and when he was in the valley, God himself buried him.
Then there is Elijah. He was on the mountaintop with God on Mt. Carmel. He prayed and fire came down from heaven to prove God was God of the whole world and there was none other. Like the song says, he didn’t get there on his own, but that same day, Elijah became afraid and ran away from Queen Jezebel. He didn’t ask God what to do, he just ran for his life. He was in a valley. He ran for miles and miles and even told God he wanted to die. He was discouraged, but he kept his eyes on God. He ran, but he didn’t run from God and God sent an angel to help him.
Jesus. He was on a few mountaintops. He gave the Sermon on the Mount. He climbed a mountain with Peter, James and John. As he was praying, Moses and Elijah came down from heaven to talk with him about his death. He was transfigured there and became bright as the sun. But very soon after that he walked through the Kidron Valley to the Mt. of Olives, there to go through his greatest suffering. When Jesus was on mountaintops, he didn’t get there on his own either. His Father was with him. He said he did nothing without the Father. And through his valley, he kept praying and keeping his eyes on his Father who sent an angel to strengthen him.
In each of these stories, God took each one to heaven after they had gone through a valley. So, don’t be discouraged if you are going through a valley right now. One day, either here or in heaven, you will be standing on a mountaintop with God.