A Valley Called Despair

We come to the mountain top a most honorable place, a place we feel secure, whole, and free from the anxiety of this world. Every inch of your body feels alive tinkling in excitement for being on the mountain top in the presence of God. But stay you cannot, for you know sooner or later you must go back into the valley, often time to the valley called despair. You hear the moans and cries of the world as plague after plague is unleashed upon the world, and torrents of affliction cast the unwilling into misery and despair. You hear the voice of the world leaders making bold promises of peace, prosperity, and the vision of a grand utopia. Or you hear the voice of those who want their own agenda by retuning to days gone by and unleashing a barrage of venomous attacks on those in power. Even if you close your ears to all this nonsense you can’t escape the thunder claps of everyday life. In the midst of a cesspool of greed, selfishness, and lawlessness you still feel the pain of your own trial – a mate or yourself suffering from a debilitating disease, indebtedness, or broken relationships.

As the world comes crashing in on you, you long for the mountain top and the peace that dwells there. Some call it escape, but you know the reality of the mountain and its beckon call for all those who would hear. As you return to the mountain top the glory of God welcomes you and the Spirit offers refreshing nourishment that feeds the soul and strengthens your faith. There is no greater joy than being in the presence of God and the warmth of His embrace. You are not in strange company because many before you have also stood on the mountain and beheld the face of God as life was being snuffed out of their mortal bodies due to every form of horrific persecution. The longer you stay on the mountain the clearer things begin to look. It’s as if scales are falling from your eyes and the vision of reality is taking shape right before your eyes.  Priorities that seemed so important before now appear less important as new priorities take their place. Money, bank accounts, houses, and cars no longer have their same appeal but quickly fade away for a new reality. Feelings of hate and disgust quickly dissipate as if washed away by a river of love.

Then you begin to anguish about returning back to the valley when you hear a strong voice ever so softly whisper in your ear, “take heart for I have overcome the world.” As my cries of anguish are tempered I remember that going back to the valley will be less difficult than first imagined. My heart is exploding with the remembrance that I will not go alone!  I will not go alone. As I think about the gloomy valley below and the horror that awaits me, I take new courage in the fact that Jesus Christ will go with me. A promise that He will never leave me nor forsake me now fills my heart. As I go I go with the same reality of the mountain that priorities must stay the same as if on the mountain. My vision of reality must remain intact. The new reality will take hold of my heart a reality that relationships are more important than gold, love is more important than money, grace is more important than bank accounts, and salvation is more important than any possession. As I make my way back to the valley of everyday living Christ will be my guide.  As I follow Christ I turn a deaf ear to the world and glory in the hearing of His words alone. In the midst of the valley that’s no longer called despair, Christ has become my strength.

Copyright © 2012 Rev. Daniel W. Blair – Under the copyright law these articles may be used for nonprofit educational purposes. Please do so to strengthen your fellow believer to remain faithful to Jesus and obedient to His commandments.