I was a drama queen. I used to LOVE me some drama. That love affair actually kept me sick. I would be on my mountain top, sword in hand, ready to conquer the WORLD!!! Then reality would set in and I wouldn’t just come down off the mountain…I would JUMP, not from mountain top to mountain top, but straight into the valley. Things on the mountain were so beautiful but I would get egotistical, self-righteous, and obnoxious. The air up there would get thin and I would begin to get disillusioned. I would do everything in my own strength and the next thing you know I would be lying face down in the valley without a clue on how I got there. EVERYONE around me knew where I was at any given moment because of the drama that I surrounded with my experiences. In the valleys, I would face self-doubt and forget God’s power. I would do that on the mountain too.
My FAVORITE book in the Bible depicts the story of Elijah and his “Mountain Top” experience. This story shows that God is in charge, He fights our battles, and He comes to us in our weaknesses. Elijah was scared, he had so much doubt, and he was running for his life once back into the valley, but GOD WAS THERE. God had just defeated and shamed the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel (go read it…AWESOME stuff 1 Kings 18:16-40). There had been no rain in the land for 7 years and God had told Elijah that if he were to go do this for Him at Mount Carmel, God would bring rain.
1 Kings 18:41-44 – And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.” 42 So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Mount Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees. 43 “Go and look toward the sea,” he told his servant. And he went up and looked. “There is nothing there,” he said. Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.” 44 The seventh time the servant reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.”
Do you think Elijah had doubt that God was going to do as He promised? I bet he did. Did Elijah know that his life was now on the line with Queen Jezebel for killing off all her prophets? You bet. He may have been on top of a mountain, but he was surely in the valley of his mind. After Ahab got back, the rain came, Ahab told Jezebel that Elijah had killed off all her cruel prophets and she was on a mission to kill Elijah. Now Elijah is really in the valley and the Mountain Top miracle is far from his mind and heart. But God calls him back…just like He does me, and you…time and time again. It’s a choice to sit and wallow in sin and in the past and in the negativity but all I have to do is call out from below and change my course of direction, my attitude, and my behavior and put on some good hiking boots. If I don’t heed the warnings and learn the lessons in the valley, I will stay there indefinitely.
1 Kings 19:3-13 – Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 5 Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 6 He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. 7 The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” 8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. 9 There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
Living in the valley is tough. Sometimes it doesn’t seem fair. It’s a lonely place to be but the mountain is just a short distance away. God will take care of you in the valley. He will provide for you in the valley. You will not go hungry and you will not perish.
11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
God is in the gentle whisper. He is summoning us to the mountain. He wants to show us that He can do all that we need in HIS strength. He is there to love us and to help us. Don’t get stuck in the valley. Climb with all your might to the top and wait for the gentle whisper of the Lord to come.