Hills And Valleys

Life is a journey.  It’s not necessarily about where you end up, but how you get there and the path you take. It’s easy to say that you’ll trust God through every season of life, but it’s something entirely different to actually do it.

Maybe, right now you’re in a valley. Maybe this season of life hurts.

Heartbreak is something that almost everyone can understand, whether that be in the form of a breakup, loss of a loved one, or getting fired. Somehow though, everyone’s response to it is completely individual and unique. Maybe it’s a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream or watching your favorite movie over and over to distract you from the pain until you have all the lines memorized. Maybe it’s talking to a friend, or working out and pushing yourself as far you can so that when you’re done, you have no more energy left to think about the pain. Whatever your coping mechanism is, it’s unique and specific to you.

But heartbreak does not discriminate, so hypothetically, shouldn’t there be a universal solution, to ease the oh-so-excruciating pain?

One word: Jesus.

Sure, that sounds cliche, but isn’t it true? The Bible tells us that “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalms 147:3)  He remains, constant and fierce through every season of life, so why is it that we tend to stray from him when we’re hurting?

Many people would say that they’re angry at God, they’ve lost all hope, or very simply that they’re just tired of fighting.  Whatever the reason be, we must root ourselves in the truth we find in Romans 8:38-39, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

No matter where we are in life, God’s love and mercy surround us in a magnitude that we could never even began to imagine.  So, in faith, stop running, and surrender your struggles to the Lord who gave his life to save yours.

Maybe right now, you’re on top of a mountain.  Maybe this season of life is great.

Happiness is something we’ve all experienced, whether it came from the guy you’ve been crushing on forever finally asking you out, or seeing your favorite band in concert.  Maybe you aced a test, or nailed the interview for the internship you had been stressing about for weeks.  Whatever it may be, the fact of the matter is that happiness can come from many things, in countless shapes and sizes.

When life is going great, it’s easy to start to feel like you can do it on your own, and that you don’t need God anymore. It’s also easy to give yourself the credit, and believe that you’re the one who made this happen, not God.

But here’s the thing – happiness is temporary.  It is an emotion in response to a particular circumstance or scenario.  What happens if you break up? What happens when the internship is over? What if you fail your next exam? Or the concert ends?

Lucky for us, there’s this thing called Joy. Rick Warren defines it as “the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.”

Some compare happiness to a water fountain, while comparing joy to a waterfall. Creating this image of shallow versus deep, quick versus constant, worldly versus Godly.  In the Bible we find truth in Isaiah 12:3, that “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”

So, as we continue on this journey called life, let’s hold onto God’s word.

In the hard times we can hold onto James:1:2-3: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” That verse is a perfect reminder that God has a plan, and that this pain and this heartache has a purpose.

In the good times, let’s hold on to James 1:17: “Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens,” which reminds us to illuminate the Lord and give him all the Glory.

And through it all, let’s hold on to Psalm 16:11: “In your presence is fullness of joy,”  because He is God of the Hills and Valleys.

About the Author

Stephanie Sabon
Stephanie is a college freshman with a passion for Jesus and coffee. She attends Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, and frequently volunteers for church ministries. When not writing, Stephanie also enjoys photography and running.