By Jasmine Perdue
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under Heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
What is your favorite season? It is funny because my sister Jade and I could not be any different than we are. The things that she enjoys, I usually consider boring. Foods she likes, I am usually not a fan of. She prefers the beach life, and I prefer the mountain life. She enjoys reading while I prefer sports. Yes, we are complete opposites. But I love her with all my heart!
There is one physical difference that we share that is hard on each of us. My sister has a hard time in the winter, while I struggle with the heat of summer.
Not only do I absolutely despise sweating and being miserable in the summer, but it physically exhausts me and my hands and feet are more prone to swelling. Jade, on the other hand, has trouble with arthritis, and her body aches when it is really cold.
We joke about it with each other because when it is snowing, Jade will say, “At least I know Jasmine is really happy.” Then when it is blazing outside, I say, “At least my sister is enjoying her pool and patio time.”
We all enjoy different times of the year and different activities that come with the seasons.
However, as Christians, all of us enjoy only one season in our spiritual lives, and those are the “mountain top” seasons. You know what I am talking about–the times when blessings are being showered from Heaven.
We love when the Lord brings us through a situation, and we are in awe of Him and His provisions. When our backs are against the wall, and we are amazed to see all of the things the Lord orchestrates to work out for our good.
We despise the valley seasons. We dread the times of drought, unknowns, fear, loss, pain, confusion, and the what if’s. We rejoice and pray to stay on the mountain, while we hold on for dear life as we go crashing head first back into the valley once again.
It seems sometimes the mountain top season is but a moment while the valleys are never ending.
The snowy season is my mountain top full of joy, beauty, happiness and contentment. The blazing heat of summer is my valley, full of discomfort, tears, pain and fatigue.
But we have to go through the valleys to get to the mountains.
Jade cannot get to her summer without going through the pain of the winter. I cannot get to my snow without going through the misery of summer.
We cannot have our mountaintop seasons without going through the valley seasons.
A statement I want you to consider:
What if the tears that soak your pillow tonight could be what waters the seeds that will come forth in your life tomorrow?
You see, sorrow produces strength. The sorrow of what you are going through today is what is going to build your faith and strength for tomorrow.
An athlete can’t just show up for the Olympics to compete while never training for the race. As Christians, we cannot expect to reach the mountain if we have not conditioned ourselves in the painful training process.
We must go through the valley to get to the mountain. We must go through the trials for our faith to be strengthened.
The trials and heat of summer will come. The question is, will you choose to be hopeless, afraid, miserable and defeated, or will you claim the promise of victory that you have already been given as a child of the King? Will you dwell on the never ending tears or will you focus on the harvest that watering those seeds will bring forth?
We cannot see what is happening to those seeds underground, just like we cannot see the Lord working through our valleys. In time the seeds will grow, mature, and bring forth delicious fruit and vegetables. And over time in the valley, our faith and character will grow, strengthen, and produce beautiful spiritual maturity.
We as Christians have a choice to make. We can choose to be dead and passive in our trial or we can choose to be alive and active.
No matter how much I complain and choose to be miserable in the summer, it is not going to change the temperature. In the same way, no complaining or anger is going to change our time in the valley, if anything He might make us stay longer.
But we can choose to change our perspective.
Even though I hate the heat, I can enjoy the beautiful flowers. Even though I am in a trial, I know that God is still on the throne. I hate sweating, but I can be thankful to be hydrated. I may be full of sorrow, but I can rejoice that I have the God of all comfort living and active inside of me.
You may be defeated, but you serve a God who always promises the victory. You may be broke, but God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. You may be thirsty in the valley, but He is the Living Water who can quench your thirst. You may be lonely, but God promises to never leave you or forsake you. You may be scared, but God promises to be a present help in time of need. You may be confused, but God promises to give wisdom liberally if only you ask Him. You may be limping in the valley, but God says, “I am the Great Healer.”
There is no valley where He is not there. There is no trial that He cannot resolve. There is no mistake that He cannot make beauty from ashes. There is no debt that He cannot pay. There is no job that He cannot provide. There is no disease that He cannot cure. There is no water that He cannot part. There is no marriage that He cannot restore. There is no abuse that He cannot provide refuge. There are no addictions that He cannot break. There is no bitterness that He cannot release. And there is NO sin that He cannot forgive.
Which perspective will you choose to have in the valley?