When our oldest daughter was young, many of my friends complained about how their kids held them hostage by an annoying purple dinosaur on TV. While in our home, we were trying very hard not to dislike a deformed Frenchman. The Disney movie, The Hunchback of Notre Dam was Meghan’s absolute favorite. No matter how many times I sat and watched it with her, how many times I wanted to scream from the sheer exhaustive repetition, there was always one scene that would make me laugh out loud.
After the beautiful Esmerelda leads the guards on a wild goose chase, at one point she knocks over a large cage containing an old prisoner. It rolls a bit, then comes to a stop. Breaking open the rusted iron lock, an old prisoner steps out. “I’m free! I’m free!” He joyously exclaims. Then immediately trips and falls into the stockade, which closes and locks. “Dang it.”
I don’t care how many times I watch that scene, I always laugh. What a perfect example of how our lives seem to go at times. The mountaintop experience is exhilarating but it often seems the moment we step our foot upon it we have toppled down into the valley below.
The Israelites experienced the very same thing. No sooner had they stepped onto the other side of the parted Red Sea, still in song to the God that had performed the greatest miracle they had ever witnessed, their very next step would be smack dab into the wilderness. From mountaintop to valley, they had to be wondering what had just happened?
Are you in the valley today? Is your spiritual walk parched and dry from a drought of desert dwelling? Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid for the Lord your God is with you every step of this journey. Sweet sisters, do not despair and do not be discouraged. The Promised Land is always on the other side of a wilderness experience.
Friends, the mountaintops are beautiful places of untold miracles and answered prayers. Great joy and intimate fellowship with God await us there. But it is not where we were meant to stay. The blessing of the heights is what the Lord gives to fuel us for the wilderness and the droughts that will soon come. The mountaintop experience might take us higher, but the valley experience is what will take us deeper.