Photo by Jaroslaw Pocztarski
Imagine two hills with a valley in the center. You’re in the valley, and you hear God’s voice to climb up one of the hills.
You do, which gives you a different visual perspective than what you had in the valley. You can see your surroundings much more clearly.
You need to be on the other hill. You can see this standing on that hill, but you couldn’t see it in the valley. God wanted you to see the view. For some reason, His plan for you to be on the other hill wouldn’t have mattered to you as much if you climbed it first without the gift of a better perspective.
There are times when He asks us to climb a hill that seems so… random. Unnecessary. An exercise in futility. And we wonder why on earth He wants us to climb, sweat, and work with all our strength, when the mountain feels purposeless, and all that’s rewarded is the clarity that you need to be on the other mountain.
When we first moved overseas a few years ago, it didn’t take long for our little family of three to hit rock bottom. Early on, I struggled with doubt after doubt — What were we thinking? Are we sure we heard God right? There’s no way He meant this.
A few months into the cross-cultural life, I was diagnosed with depression. My doctor suggested we seek help quickly, which ultimately meant a two-month trek to the other side of the world.
There in Thailand, I met with wise counsel, and together, we confirmed that I had actually been dealing with post-partum depression since my daughter’s birth more than two years ago. Now, pregnant with my second and in the thick of culture stress, all my coping mechanisms were shot.
God’s plan for me was to climb the mountain of depression. It was hard, and I didn’t want to. But He walked with me, and I exercised muscles I didn’t know I had. I got stronger.
And once we summitted, I could see a bit more of His perspective. It was clearer past the clouds. I saw the next mountain, the one that represented cross-cultural life. I saw that if I were to thrive on that mountain, traversing those paths, I needed the experience I just received. I needed new strength.
Perhaps God wants you to have a different view on things. A better view. A clearer view. He needs you to see things a little closer to His perspective. His timeline is not yours, so He’s got ample time to let you exercise your muscles on the first mountain. You’ll be in much better shape to tackle that second mountain.
Are you climbing a mountain, and it feels like an exercise in futility? Are you sweating, wondering what on earth God has in store for you at the mountaintop? Do you feel like God is putting mountains in your path that do nothing but cause you to work?
He has something up His sleeve. He needs your legs to be strong for your next mountain. He has words to whisper to you as you climb this peak before you. His priority is your wholeness, your wellness, your character.
At the summit, the clouds will break, and you will see something. Something you couldn’t see in the valley. Perhaps it will be your next mountain. You’ll see your trail, the mile markers, your upcoming obstacles. He’ll show you things you’ll need to carry in your pack so that you can tackle that feat.
But you would have never known this if you stayed in the valley. His purposes are good. His plan is perfect. And His strength will be yours.
He said so.