My mom gave me a magazine to read around a year ago, and it's been tucked away collecting dust... until now. As I was going through what I was going through in my previous post, and as I was talking to my girlfriend (and best friend) about what I was feeling, I was half-focused in scrounging through a pile of articles on my desk that I call 'Pending Papers'... and I took hold of the magazine, one from Zion ministries. I was browsing through it and saw an interesting article, entitled 'Mountains and Valleys.' According to the author, Pastor Norman Holmes, the 'mountains' represent 'uplifting events', 'glory, victory, revival, and many other blessings. 'Valleys' represent 'trouble, discouragement, and other difficulties'.
I like rain. It's been raining a lot lately and I've been enjoying it too much to the point that I've been so lazy, to the point that it's been affecting me spiritually... and I've been pretty critical upon myself, and you know where that leads: as we have been preaching over the past weeks, if you keep your eye on the sin, you will keep sinning.
It's been that case with me. I've allowed things to creep in and now I'm in a valley. However, I thank God for the wisdom He imparted on Pastor Norman when he shared about the Valley of Baca in Psalm 84:5-7: 'How blessed is that man whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring... They go from strength to strength, every one of them appears before God in Zion.'
He pointed out that we are not to stay and settle in the valley, but to pass through them. I could imagine how my little 'moment' a while back was like me sitting down while I was in the middle of a valley... This was like a call for me to get out of it!
Press on, press on for the Lord, my heart cries...
Pastor Norman also mentioned the story of Horatio Spafford, who lost his fortune and his children to sickness and disaster... as the ship he was on sailed through the actual area where his four daughters drowned, I believe it was the shalom that only God could give that directed him to write the words to the song we now know as, 'It is well with my soul'...
"A traveler spends more time in the valleys than on the mountain tops. Do not think you are a failure, or backslidden, when you find yourself in a valley (1 Peter 4:12-13, Psalm 105:17-19, Romans 8:28)" - Norman Holmes
Here's a video of Guy Penrod discussing Horatio Spafford, followed by an awesome version of the song, 'It Is Well With My Soul'.
Lord, You know everything we are going through, and though we may be in mountains or valleys, I praise You because You are God, and You are good, over both circumstances! Help us to always remember You in times of happiness and craziness... I love You so much, Lord! Thank You for loving me! In Jesus Christ's Name, Amen!
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