While hiking recently in Rocky Mountain National Park I realized my favorite views include both mountains and valleys. Each features their own unique beauty. But when both are present, they take my breath away.
Pausing in my journey to spend time with the Lord, I sensed him encouraging me to consider the varied landscape as a metaphor for life. I tend to view the highest peaks as most desirable, and they do contribute wonderfully to the landscape of our lives. They provide perspective and make challenging destinations to shoot for. But I won’t get far if I stay there.
The valleys are where most growth happens. Trees, bushes, and ferns thickly cover the valley I was viewing. Without a trail it can be difficult to walk where a lot of growth is taking place. You can’t see far ahead and often have no idea where you’re going.
But though journeying may seem slower, such valleys can also be delicious. That’s where raspberries and thimbleberries grow!
My heart soon swelled with thanks to the Lord for the valleys He’s strategically placed in my life and for the growth that’s occurred because of them!
In the middle of our stories, especially when life is hard, can it ever help to zoom out to consider the big picture each valley is part of. How incredible to think, because of Jesus, we will have all eternity to enjoy the landscape of our lives!
When you consider the landscape of your life, what mountains have you experienced? And what valleys have you traversed? What benefits and challenges have accompanied both? How might the landscape of your life look different if both weren’t included?