Have you ever noticed how some people refer to tough times as valleys while others refer to them as mountains? I was thinking about this over the weekend when Jason and I went on a rather strenuous hike.
At times we were in the valley. It was calm and peaceful (albeit cold). The trees were lovely. The flowing river was hypnotic. All in all, it was a pleasing experience.
At other points, we were high on the mountain overlooking the country below. The view was breathtaking. We could see rolling mountains stretched out before us, their dark hue silhouetted against the blue sky.
Neither of these experiences were bad or negative in any way. I couldn't imagine comparing them to trials of life. They were both peaceful and beautiful in their own way.
You know what was a trial? Going up and down the mountain. On the way up, my legs burned so bad that I thought they had literally caught fire. I found myself gasping for air more times than I care to recount. The way down wasn't any better. My knees began to ache due to the constant stress on them from the steep descent and my bottom throbbed from where I landed on it after slipping on some wet leaves. The rest of my body, since it wasn't exerting as much energy as it was when I was climbing, became very chilled from the cool weather. All I could think about was getting home and sitting in front of the fire.
So, I've come to the conclusion that it's not the mountains or the valleys that are so difficult. It's the transitions. That's why we need to depend on the Lord. He is there to give us strength, to hold us up when we can no longer stand. He will carry us up and down the mountain if we will let Him. At the very least, He will allow us to lean on Him. He will help bear the load.