Have you ever heard the term, “The rhythm of life”? It is a phrase that sums up life on this side of the grave since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden. The Bible puts it this way:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
Prior to “the fall”, the cadence of creation did not include all that we find in the valleys of this life. Life was perfect and lived in paradise. And one day, when Jesus returns, He will make all things new, and the valleys of a creation that groans, waiting to be set free from its bondage to decay (Romans 8:20-23), will be eliminated forever. In that day, all who have placed their trust in Christ will enjoy an eternal “mountaintop experience”–rejoicing in living in the presence and the glory of our Redeemer.
But until that blessed day arrives, we will all plod through numerous valleys on the journey to the Celestial City. The peaks of peace and planting, love and laughter, dancing and embracing are always welcome. Quite naturally, we prefer the peaks to the valleys. But in a creation that has been subjected to futility because of the willful, flagrant rebellion of our ancestors, valleys are inevitable. Indeed, those valleys have been ordained! So the question we must continually ask and answer is: “How well do I deal with the valleys of life?” What kind of God do those around you see when you’re in the valley? Do they see a God of grace? A God of humility and worship?
Job, after experiencing catastrophe that was more difficult to endure than his own death, fell on the ground and worshipped the Sovereign Lord of all.”The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away,” Job rightly acknowledged; “blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21). Is that what others see in you during your valley experience? Or . . . is it something much less?