“Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.”… (Matt 17:4).
Mountain top experiences with God are fun, aren’t they? Conferences, retreats and mission trips and even some church services all have a predictable high attached to them. It would be great to stay there on the mountaintop, but the reality is we must enter back into real life as we climb down the mountain with God.
I wish the only experiences we’d ever have would be up on the mountaintop. I really do wish that we’d never have to experience life through the valley and that our journey with God was always easy and free of pain. Peter wanted that for Himself too. That’s why he asks Jesus if they can build a few tents up on the mountain during the transfiguration scene. Peter doesn’t want to leave. I get that, but Peter didn’t realize that there was still great work to be done in the valley.
Christ’s story would include great suffering and pain. His journey would be marked with tremendous difficulty. This is when many of the disciples fled. Sure, they faced some persecution when they followed Jesus during His earthly ministry, but this was a kind of suffering that sent all of the scurrying. It was a suffering that, for a time, only the Son of man was willing to endure. You see, this kind of suffering is what had to take place for God to usher in the most beautiful scene in all of Scripture, the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus, had to suffer and die, so that new life could be produced in Him.
You and I will never experience the true work of God in our lives until we are willing to walk down the mountain and stay with God in the valley. Awaiting His resurrection in our lives. I’m only saying this, because, I’ve experienced it first hand in my life. For many years, I ran from pain. At all costs, I tried to avoid it, but then, suffering became so real in my life that there was no avoiding it. I had to face it. I couldn’t flee from it any longer. The Lord, in His great love wasn’t allowing for me to flee. My circumstances became to real and overwhelming and they just kept compounding upon themselves. There was something about the valley that my heart needed to embrace so that I could grow and change.
When suffering hits in the life of a believer its not because God is punishing them. It’s because God is purposing them for something that requires a changed heart. A purpose that requires a humility they have yet to muster and a willingness to trust in ways they never have before.
Remember that yes, God is with on the mountain, but He is certainly surrounding you, carrying you and abiding with you in the valley if you’d be willing to hold fast to Him there. Don’t fear the valley, but embrace it as the place that truly, you will grow and change to be more like your Heavenly Father.
Lord, I don’t like the valley. I want life to be easier and free from pain, but there’s something about the pain that creates new life in me, if I allow for you to grow and change me through it. Lord, capture my heart. I long to be more like you. Grow and change me according to your grace and your love, in Jesus name, Amen.