Our theme for this month: “Life on this side of the cross”
Our Bible verse for today: “I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Life is a cycle of highs and lows, ups and downs, peaks and valleys.”
The Inca ruins at Machu Picchu in Peru is one of my favorite places in the world. I’ve been there five or six times now and hope to go back again. It is located in the Andes Mountains of South America and the views are spectacular. Machu Picchu itself sits at over 7500 feet but it is surrounded by soaring mountain peaks that rise to over 13,000 feet. The highest peak in Machu Picchu is called Huayna Picchu. Getting to the top is a long and tough climb but it’s worth it. There aren’t many places in the world that will provide you a view like that.
I’m a pretty adventurous guy and I love being on actual mountaintops. When I’m up there I find myself thinking “I love this. I could live here.” I also love the mountaintop experiences of life. Especially the spiritual mountaintops. And just as I would love to live on an actual physical mountaintop, so too I would like to spend all of my life on spiritual mountaintops. But, unfortunately, most of life isn’t lived on the mountaintops, it’s lived in the valleys. Mountaintops are special places. And the reason they are special is because they’re rare. If a mountaintop experience was a regular part of everyday life it would soon cease being special to us.
Life itself is actually a constant cycle of highs and lows, ups and downs, peaks and valleys. The key for us is to learn how to enjoy the mountaintop experiences, while still being content and faithful in the valleys of life. It’s all part of the normal ebb and flow of life.
In Philippians 1:6 the Apostle Paul hints at one of the keys to living the Christian life well. It’s the understanding that God is at work in the middle of our situations – the ups and downs, the highs and the lows, and He is using it all to mold us and shape us into the people He wants us to be.
The key for us is to learn to enjoy the mountaintops of life, but to also live well and faithfully in the valley experiences. God will help you to do it. He’s looking for faithfulness, especially in the hard times. An Old Testament passage which speaks to this is found in 2 Chronicles 16:9 where we read, “The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” (NIV)
As this coronavirus pandemic continues to play out, God is looking for faithful Christians who are determined to honor Him with the way they handle it. He will help you and strengthen you to deal with this difficult time well. I encourage you to show yourself faithful, even during times like this when you find yourself slugging it out in one of the valleys of life.