Ministerial message: From mountain tops to valleys

Florida seems like a lifetime ago! My husband and I were in Florida this last February when the news networks were just starting to cover COVID and we were assured it was nothing to really be too concerned about. 

Looking back now I can feel like Florida was a bit of a “mountain top experience” before coming back to Canada to begin social distancing and self-isolation! Have you ever felt like that too? Went from everything was unbelievably great to how in the world did I get here?

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In Mark 9 we read of Jesus taking Peter, James and John with him up a high mountain where Jesus was transfigured before them. Jesus’ clothes became dazzling white and Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus and was talking with him. A cloud appears and the disciples here a loud voice that said, “This is my Son, whom I love, Listen to Him!” Then just as suddenly the disciples didn’t see anyone with them except Jesus. Talk about a mountain top experience!

When they made it back down the mountain they were greeted with a large crowd and the teachers of the law arguing with the other disciples. Jesus asked them what they were arguing about and a man in the crowd spoke up and said, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit….I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not”. (Mark 9:17-18). Jesus asked the father to bring the boy to him at which point the father then said, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us”.

Peter, James and John who had just witnessed the amazing transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain top now found themselves in the middle of great turmoil and confusion. This is exactly when Jesus responds, “If you can? Everything is possible for one who believes”. The boy’s father immediately exclaimed, ‘I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief’. As the crowd begins running to the scene, Jesus rebukes the impure spirit and it came out of the boy. The crowd now sees the boy lying absolutely still on the ground so that many thought the boy was dead. But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet and the boy stood up!

This is a perfect example of how quickly we can feel like we have gone from a mountain top experience to a valley. Suddenly everything in our world changes and the time we experienced the power of God seems like a distant memory and we are now in a valley of defeat. However God’s power is also shown there!

How do we walk in this valley? I believe there are a few things we can learn from God’s Word:

  1. Recognize you can’t do it on your own no matter how strong or religious you are (the disciples couldn’t cast out the unclean spirit) we need the power of God in our lives
  2. Admit where you are –‘Lord I believe, help my unbelief’
  3. Know that Jesus is in your midst and will provide the answer, even if we have to wait or things even seem to appear worse before they get better. (the boy actually appeared as dead right after Jesus had cast the spirit out)
  4. Prayer is vital! As Jesus said in Mark 9:23 ‘Everything is possible for one who believes’

Finally, I have come to learn that “mountain tops” don’t last forever but thankfully, neither do the valleys! We can trust God to show Himself mightily in both places!

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