Where I learn the most about God is not on the mountain peak, but in the valley. In the valley when I’m hurting, I turn to Him. I learn about His presence in my pain. I learn about His love in my loss. I learn about His patience with me when I’ve complained. I learn about His gentleness when I’m giving Him a difficult time. In the valley I can’t control anything, so I discover His protection and His provision and His love and His kindness. I’m learning His ways—how He operates, how He attends to my needs and my desires. He wants us to get a clearer picture of Him.
—Charles F. Stanley, “The Valley Experiences in Our Life”
Mountaintop experiences have their value in our life. They allow us to look back and see how God was with us all along the way, even in the times we felt Him the least. They serve as a reminder that God restores and rebuilds what was laid low by sorrow and pain.
During trials and affliction, it is easy to forget the hand of God is always at work, even when things seem impossible. In the valleys, we may doubt and even question our faith. It is during these times of despair that we must fully rely on God, and not our own talents and abilities. It’s when we must admit that we are not in control.
I acutely remember the dark moments of my life, and not only the intense feelings of loneliness or despair, but also the pleading to God to make things better. I remember the anger I felt when those prayers went unanswered. My doubts intensified—but in the end served to help strengthen the faith I had become so unsure of. As the turmoil receded and my teary eyes gradually became less blurry, I was then able to focus on the journey.
It is during these times of despair that we must fully rely on God, and not our own talents and abilities. It’s when we must admit that we are not in control.
Who we are now—all the ways we have grown and become wiser and fuller humans in Christ—came to be precisely because of those trials, not in spite of them. It is when we are at our weakest that God reveals Himself to us and brings us closer to His glory.