Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Valley (08/10/06)
By Glenn A. Hascall
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We leave the precipice of the mountain refreshed by the view. The air and the incredible sense of accomplishment. It has been a wondrous journey and we take that first step into the valley with a heart that is equally light and heavy with the joy of the recent accent all sadness for what will be left behind.
“There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while” (1 Peter 1:6 – NLT).
"Only if you have been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain."
The trees close in and we no longer see the view of grandeur we loved so well basking in the sun’s glow as we imagined what it must be like to sore above the valley and rest on the peak beyond. Our pace slows as we lament the passing of the view and only see a painful cloak of despair as is settles on our journey.
“Those who wait on the LORD will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31 – NLT).
"He who stays in the valley will never see over the hill." – Author Unknown
The moments of rest come more frequently. Fuel is plentiful for the fire so we stay – mostly out of fear of what is outside the flames of our inner struggle. We recall the mountain top with great fondness, but the journey ahead seems much too hard.
“I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven” (Philippians 3:14 – NLT).
"As you walk through the valley of the unknown, you will find the footprints of Jesus both in front of you and beside you." – Charles Stanley
The walk through the valley is difficult. Sometimes we are certain there is no one who has ever passed this way before, but almost imperceptively a path has been followed and comfort soothes the weeping soul as we march forward through the despair.
“You both precede and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head” (Psalm 139:5 – NLT).
“…like climbing a mountain, gaining new and wider views, discovering unexpected connections between our starting points and its rich environment. …the point from which we started out still exists and can be seen, although it appears smaller and forms a tiny part of our broad view gained by the mastery of the obstacles on our adventurous way up.” – Albert Einstein
The valley has taught us much about ourselves, our life, our relationship to God and others. The valley can teach us about friendships and those who are merely fair-weather. The valley teaches us trust and turns our doubts heavenward. The despair of the valley causes us to grow up – just a little.
“Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life” (Psalm 23:6 – NLT).
Look! There is another mountain, just past this valley.
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