Worship on the Mountaintops and in the Valleys

\We can worship on the mountaintop but we get to know God in the valley. I love mountaintops. I sat on a rooftop in Antigua and looked across the vista to two volcanic mountains (one puffing smoke) and thought, “I wonder what the view would be like from there?”

I’m sure spectacular. But as I write this, I am sipping freshly brewed Antiguan coffee which boasts on the package, “grown in the Antiguan valley of Guatemala.” Not the mountain peak. Not the high points. The valley is where growth happens.

The valley is where the battles happen, too. In the Bible, many of the great battles that Israel fought in the Old Testament took place in valleys. And many of God’s greatest acts of deliverance happened there too.

We can worship on the mountaintop but we grow deep in the valley. We can sing about God from the mountaintop, but we get to know God in the rich, fertile soil of the valley.

When Jesus took three disciples to a mountaintop, (Matthew 17:1-13) the Bible tells us He was transfigured (transformed) before them. And as He stood clothed in a glorious Heavenly light, “his face shone like the sun” (Matthew 17:2) and two men stood talking with Him; Moses and Elijah.

Peter was immediately struck with the (wrong) idea: Let’s build three tabernacles and just stay here! But the response of the Son of God was not, “let’s just stay and have church.” He called them back down to the valley where He had to go to suffer and die and be raised to life again.

God keeps calling us back to the valley. We would rather stay on the mountain where the view is wonderful. But God would rather we stay in the valley where the fellowship, growth and fruitfulness is at its peak… and where the cross awaits.

We can worship God on the mountain… but we get to know God in the valley.

Father, may we shine as brightly in the dark valleys of life as we do in the clear air of the mountaintops… for you are as much God in one place as You are in the other.


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