Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What do you do when you are in a valley?

I love to watch survival shows on Discovery channel. My favorite was Survivorman, a Canadian guy who would lose himself somewhere and video tape his escape by himself, but he must be lost somewhere in syndication now. Man vs. Wild hosted by Bear Grylls is the new top survival show. He is followed by a camera crew, so he is not as destitute as the other guy, but he is much cooler, and better looking, plus his resume includes being the youngest Brit to climb Everest. All that being said, I was reading C.S. Lewis describe life's ups and downs and how that it is all part of life and the it only matters what we do with those ups and downs.

All this started me thinking about the survival shows and what they did to survive the long hikes out of the wilderness and back to civilization. This is the nugget of truth that I learned and want to share with you. When Bear is dropped off, the first thing he will do is to climb to the peak to gain perspective and catch a vision for his walk. However, he cannot remain on the mountain top because 1. He will never reach his destination and 2. There is no food to sustain him on the mountain top. Application: When God allows us to reach mountaintops in life it is only for perspective and direction, not a place to camp out, no matter how great the view. (Read Matthew 17:4 for Peter's thoughts on this)

Bear knows that life sustaining water is actually in the valley and if he is going to live and complete his journey then he is going to need to pass through the valleys. Spiritually, we tend to depress the valleys. We talk so much about how we pass through the valley of death and how miserable it is to be in a valley, but maybe we are not thinking correctly about the valleys. Maybe we need to change our thinking about what we do when we are in a valley? Bear takes time to get fresh water in the valleys. The pools of water on mountain tops are often riddled with bacteria, but the springs of the valley give pure water. He will also build a shelter for a place to rest, the weather on the mountain top is too extreme for rest, the valleys are the best place to rest. Finally he will gather food for the journey in the valley. Because of the water in the valley, there is fruit for him to carry with him.

So what do you do when you find yourself in the next spiritual valley? rejoice! No, you can't see the future from here, but this is the place to find living water, rest and nourishment for the journey ahead. So when you find yourself in the valley, take some time to rest, spend some time to refresh yourself with the Living Water, and gather the fruits of the spirit into your life for the journey ahead.