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Sunday, November 8, 2020

Inspired by . . . Headlines: The Valley of Vision

It's hard to beat the sweeping views of Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana where the mountains stand tall and their foundations run deep. The thrill of standing at a dizzying height, looking out, for miles and miles, over God's creation. Experiencing the power, majesty, and grace of God in a profound and real way.

This is the mountain top experience we long for as Christians. Yet, I can't help but think of Peter's response when he saw Christ transfigured on the mountain. His practical and frankly, silly, suggestion that they build shelters for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. Dizzy, indeed. Until God spoke and brought him into the reality of what he was experiencing, Peter and may I suggest, most of us, don't know how to deal with real mountain top experiences. Like Peter, we feel the need to act rather than sit quietly and just experience Jesus. Perhaps that is why they are so few and far between.

If you've been a Christian for very long at all you've probably learned that the Way is filled with paradox.

that to be low is high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive...*

that the valley is often the place of our clearest vision.

It is in the valley, surrounded by our sin and darkness, that Christ's light shines the brightest. That we behold His glory. It is here in the valley, through many dangers, toils, and snares, that the grace of God carries us.

Though in the valley we may feel the most bereft and alone, it is here where we are really the closest to our Father because it is in the darkest valley when He carries us close to His bosom, a single set of footprints in the sandy loam.

It is when we thirst that we seek the Living Water. When we are at our lowest that we look to the heights. When things are dark that we look for the Light.

Let me find Thy light in my darkness,
Thy life in my death,
Thy joy in my sorrow,
Thy grace in my sin,
Thy riches in my poverty
Thy glory in my valley.*

The Good News is that Jesus is the Light and He will always bring us safely to the Father. 


*Inspiration taken from The Valley of Vision, Puritan Prayers and Devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett

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