Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Up and Down (04/02/09)
TITLE: Where Am I?
By Marilyn Hines
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The prophets wrote of going to the mountaintops, searching for God. Ascending towards God, or standing on the mountain, or worshiping God on the mountain all speak of a journey. The upward gaze suggest that we are looking up out of the depths sometimes out of desperation and despair, but also out of a need to worship and revere our God.
Life is the proverbial journey, not on the salt flats, but in the hills, valley and mountains. We strive upwards toward God and feel as if soaring on ‘wings of the eagles’ as in Isaiah 40:31. Then we plunge into the depths of Sheol and through the ‘valley of the shadow of death’ with Psalm 23 upon our lips. Then there is the everyday life where we are not really down in the valley nor upon the heights, but headed in one direction or the other, never standing still.
As a child I remember standing out off an area in New Mexico call the rim. Far down houses looked like miniature toys. I think when we are up on the mountain; our problems, which still exist, are put into perspective, as small and insignificant especially in the light of the God’s outlook. An exhilarating feeling to be above the clouds and feeling so close to my God to worship Him from the joy in my heart.
Then, and there always appears one, we have likely stumbled down the mountain and have entered the valley. We strain to raise our heads far enough, just to see a touch of blue sky, and even that may be hid by the storm clouds. Now crying out with a broken voice from a broken heart to a God that we know cares, and if we will allow Him into the valley with us, will lift us out once again as we cry out as the psalmist for God to save us with His unfailing love.
Each day of our journey we need to look at where we are at and which direction we are going. Are we headed back up the mountain away from the worldly cares? Are we rolling down the mountain to the depth of the valley? Are we wandering along unaware of the direction? We need to remember, “From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; from His dwelling place He watches all who live on earth- He who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.” We are not on this journey alone and left untended, but we are on a journey with God either on the way up the mountains of life, or down into their valleys, and even along those paths that to us do not seem be going either direction.
So how do I answer the question? I don’t always know if I am on the way up or down, but I know the mountaintops and in the valleys. For certainty I know I am not lost! I always know that I am with God and He will never leave me, fail me or desert me. I know because it is written: “Never will I leave you: never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13: 5) followed by “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” So as God in the past has always cared, He always will no matter where on the map of life I tread.
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