“We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life; longevity has it’s place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain.” – Martin Luther King Jr
Why do people climb mountains? When asked that question, people who have risked their life scaling the world’s highest peaks suggest that it is more than just reaching a summit. It is the total experience. Once they reach the peak, they want to savor the experience, the determination it took to get there, and soak in the sense of accomplishment and peace they have from getting there. But in many cases, they cannot stay too long because they need to head back before the sun goes down.
It is the same with a mountaintop experience with God. A mountaintop experience is a temporary, uncommon encounter with God that is meant to give us a fresh awareness of His reality and nearness. We naturally want to savor it and the peace and joy it brings. The mountaintop is a nice place to visit, but you can’t stay there. There’s no Chick-fil-A, Starbucks and in most cases, no cell phone or Wifi signal. All kidding aside, the mountaintop is a place that God allows you to be in for a a few days, few hours or a few moments and is part of our total life experience. But here is the thing: you can’t expect God to show up in your life in dramatic mountaintop ways if you don’t show up before Him in faithful, consistent ways in the valleys. Richard Nixon said, “Only if you have been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.”
I have learned over the years that the inspiration, faith, grace, and hope we experience at those God-given mountaintop moments is what will sustain us in the valley. But sometimes it is the other way around. It is not easy, but it is possible to have mountain top views while walking though the valleys. It is through these valleys that we depend on God’s strength. It is through these valleys that we rely on God and His lead because we may not see the end. It is in the valleys, as well as the mountaintop experiences, that we can grow closer to God.
Savor the total experience of those times when we have a mountaintop experience with God. But remember that we can have mountaintop views as we walk through the valleys of life.
- Have you experienced “mountaintop” experiences with God? How would you describe them?
- What would we need to change to look at our “valley” experiences as an opportunity to draw closer to God?