I have often shared how our Father will work with us from where we are. Yes, His desire is to move us forward, into His presence and Glory, but we never start in that position.
Let me give you an example of what I mean. Do you remember when the Lord used a rainbow as a sign of His promise after the flood? Now, He didn’t invent the rainbow (at that time, anyway), to make His point. He simply pointed out something that existed and said, “Hey, looky there, see that rainbow? From this point on, when you see one, remember my promise!” I mean, rainbows are caused by light reflecting and dispersing in water droplets. So, He used something men knew about, and put His lesson to it! He is a great teacher, that way.
Another example is how, in ancient times, people would build an altar so they could make sacrifices in high place, like on a mountaintop, because they believed that was where the gods lived. Now, I am not claiming to be a paleo-linguists, you know, a scientist who studies the history of language, but it has been known for a long time, that the Hebrew language was derived from the Akkadian language. And, due to some outstanding breakthroughs in deciphering the Akkadian language, several ancient Hebrew terms are now clearly defined.
For instance, the mysterious meaning of one of Scripture’s earliest titles for God: El Shaddai, has been solved! Shaddai means ― mountain. So, El Shaddai means God of the Mountain! That fits quite naturally with the beliefs of those early inhabitants of Biblical times, doesn’t it? It also fits nicely with the time when Jacob was walking through some mountains, on his way to Mesopotamia, and the Lord introduced Himself! The Lord pointed to all of those Mountain’s and said, “Hey Jake, looky there! I am the God of all those Mountains!” Wow!
So, He is the God of Mountains? Personally, I would argue that He is also the God of Valleys! Look, if we are honest, in our day-to-day lives, we often face battles that are sometimes, very intense! And those battles are often fought in the Valleys! They might be times of weakness; times when we are all torn up; bummed out’ a bundle of nerves; times when we are frustrated and confused; or times when we are dealing with personal events.
If we could chart the events of our lives, they would prove to be the lowest points. Yet, during our deepest trials, our Father is no less present than any other time! In fact, it might be scary to know, but the valleys are often as much of our Father’s plan, as our mountaintop experiences!.
There is a story that perfectly demonstrates this truth! Israel had recently defeated the Syrian army. But where was that battle? In a mountain! However, in the twentieth chapter of I Kings, we read:
A prophet came to the king of Israel and said, “Reinforce your army. Consider what you have to do. When spring comes, the king of Syria will attack again.”
Then the screen fades, and we see into the headquarters of the Syrians:
Meanwhile, the officers of King Benhadad of Aram told him, “Their god is a god of the mountains! That is why they were stronger than we were. However, if we fight them on the plain, we will be stronger than they are” (I Kings 20:22-23)
That is rather presumptuous, don’t you think? The enemy said that the God of Israel was a God of the Mountains, oh, but if they fought the Hebrews in the valleys, well then they would defeat them. I remember my High School years. Each year had a particular characteristic to it. One year it was experimenting with drugs, another year it was spending more time in the park across the street from the school, than actually in the school, but during my junior year, I loved to get in fights. There was a small group of us who were students of the martial arts and we thought we were pretty tough. One day someone came up to me and said, “You aren’t so tough, leave your “Karate” tricks out of it and I could whip you.” Well, that was what the king of Aram was doing. “When I get you in the territory I’m good at, you won’t stand a chance.”
That is certainly the way our enemy works. He will plant a thought in our mind, but always during our weakest point. Maybe we are making a stand on a particular word that the Lord had given us, a particular promise that we need to apply our faith on. Then, someone we know comes up and, unknowingly, tries to make us give up or waiver from His promise.
How could they possibly know what we are dealing with? They couldn’t, but certainly, our enemy does and he used your friend against you! Oh, that rascally scoundrel must have his eyes peeled on you right now! He was watching to see the effect of this attack.
But now, I encourage you to go back to our story in I Kings:
The man of God came again. He said to the king of Israel, “This is what Yahweh says: Because the Arameans said that Yahweh is (El Shaddai) a god of the hills but not a god of the valleys, I will hand over their entire army to you. Then you will know that I am Yahweh” ( (I Kings 20:28)
(by the way, that kid in High School who thought he could take me? He lost. Seriously, how was I suppose to “turn off” my Martial Arts training?)
You know my friends, I don’t care what the enemy tries to tell you, Christ is God of the Mountains and the God of the Valleys. He hasn’t stopped being God just because you happen to be in a valley. Phooey! He is the God of glory as seen in His power and miracles. Our Father reveals Himself as faithful, loyal, and committed to us in every difficulty and problem. Irrespective of the circumstance; in every situation and through every circumstance, He is victorious! He is our God!
When we are on the “mountaintops” during our walk with Christ, we can clearly see our future. We have perspective and confidence. However, when we are in one of life’s valleys, our vision is limited and our future seems hidden. That may be true, but our valleys can also be the most fertile places on earth! These are the times which can produce fruitfulness in our walk with Christ. Not only that, you can expect that there will be a harvest of virtue when our Father lives with you in the valleys.
I remember that my dad passed away on February 14, 2010. In the days which followed his death, were, as many of you have experienced yourselves, so busy with visitations; the interment; the memorial service. With all of the hubbub, I never had the opportunity to “feel” the loss. However, after all of the activities faded, and when all the “busy” work had ended, it began to hit me and I suddenly felt the loss. My wife tried to comfort me by explaining that I was experiencing a normal time of grieving. However, found great comfort while reading Psalm 84:
Blessed are those who find strength in you.
Their hearts are on the road that leads to you.
As they pass through the valley of Weeping
they make it a place of springs.
The early rains cover it with blessings.
Their strength grows as they go along
until each one of them appears
in front of Elohim in Zion (Psalm 84:5-7)
Each of us has times of weeping; times when our hearts are overwhelmed and our hopes seem crushed. But because our Father has placed in our hearts “highways to Zion,” we are able to pass through those valleys; and we don’t have to live in them. You know, set up camp and settle in your despair.
“Passing through the valley of weeping . . .”? I would like to assure you that once you are on the other side of weeping, our Redeemer will make our valley experience into “a spring.” The very things that overwhelmed us will, in time, refresh us with new life. In fact, we will go from strength-to-strength, getting stronger and wiser and living with victorious power. As Ed Cole used to say, “Yesterday’s dung can be tomorrow’s fertilizer!”
My friends, we can rejoice in the valley experiences, but whether we are experiencing the height of success and power or are in a valley of weakness and despair, the Lord is our God continually!
Let me ask you something. Has the enemy isolated you, causing you to doubt our Father’s love? Don’t forget, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. So His love is never conditional on your behavior! Even the hairs on your head are numbered. He cares. It is His love for us that redeems our hardships and not only brings good out of what was meant for evil but also trains us to deliver others.
God has not promised to keep us from valleys and sufferings, but He has promised to make us fruitful in them. Without a doubt, each of us will pass through valleys before we reach our final goal in our Father’s presence. As we remain faithful to Him in the trials, the character and nature of Christ Jesus will emerge in our spirits; and also, Christ will be revealed to those around us! Now catch this: He intends to make your life a key that unlocks God’s shelter for others!
Father, You are God of the mountains and the valleys, in my life. I know that Your faithfulness is my shield and my bulwark. Thank You for redeeming the conflicts of my life. I praise You for healing me and causing me to forget all the trauma of my past. Now Lord, help me to remember what I have learned. Cause me to remember that the crises in my life have always preceded the enrichment of my life. Help me to recognize that the place of my fruitfulness is in the land of my affliction. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)
I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.