Mountain Top Experiences, Part 1:
From the Top of Les Hautes Gorges de la Rivière Malbaie
Names of places in Quebec, the French province in
Canada, are very descriptive. Or so we would learn, as we trudged to the
top of Mont Erable (Mount Maple) in Le Parc National des Hautes Gorges de la
Rivière Malbaie - Literally translater, "The National Park of the High
Gorges of the Malbaie River".
But what was even more impressive was the view from the top. From here we
could look down into the Malbaie river gorge, 3000 feet (1000 metres) below.
As I sat on a rock enjoying not only the view, but the chance to rest my
legs that had just hiked 5.3 km straight up (or so it seemed), it occurred
to me that I had seen this view before. Many times.
How could this be? I had never been to this part of Quebec before, and
before today, I had never heard of this national park, let alone seen
pictures from the summit of Mont Erable!
As I sat there, pondering all of this, I was suddenly overcome with the
presence of God, and I knew: Yes, I had seen this view before. Many times.
You see, when I am in a "valley" period of my life, when circumstances are
less than favourable, when the problems seem to smother me and there is no
hope in site, I have often cried out to God, and He has shown me exact same
view from the top of Mont Erable! And then He has gone on to reassure me
that though I might be in a "valley" of my life, He is there to sustain me,
to bring me through, until the day when I would once again stand on the top!
And the best part is, He has done just that! Each and every time!
As I sat there praising God, it occurred to me that the view from
the top of Mont Erable would be nothing if it weren't for the deep gorges.
If not for the valleys below, I could just as well be looking out
across a field. It is the deep valleys that make the beautiful view. It is the
deep valleys that make for the exhilarating climb. It is the deep valleys
that remind us of the beauty of the mountain top!
So often I have received emails from people who feel that God has abandoned
them in a valley of their lives. I often hear: "I thought Christ came to
give us abundant life, not this suffering and misery I've had all my life!"
Another common one is, "If God is all powerful, then He must not care for
me, because He isn't delivering me from my ______" The blank is usually
filled in with illness, financial difficulties, family problems, etc.
It poses an interesting question, doesn't it? God IS all powerful, and He IS
a God of love. So if He can do something about our suffering, why doesn't He
But would we truly appreciate the "mountain top" experiences of our lives,
if it weren't for the "valleys"? Wouldn't we come to take the wonderful
things in our lives for granted, if we didn't see the high gorges of
problems we've had to overcome?
I read an interesting text in the Bible recently:
"He sends the springs into the valleys;
They flow among the hills.
They give drink to every beast of the field;
The wild donkeys quench their thirst." (Ps
Water is often used as a symbol for the Holy Spirit (See John 7:37-39). Can
it be that the Psalmist, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is telling us
in this verse that it is in the valleys of our lives where the Holy Spirit can pour forth in all His power? And as a result, the earth is
Can it be that it is especially in the "valleys" of our lives that we can
feel the power of God the most?
Can it be that the "abundant life" Christ promises to
believers doesn't mean a life without problems? Can it be that this life in
abundance really refers to a life of experiencing the power of God working
through our problems?
Can it be that "abundant life" refers to the joy, peace, and blessings we
can find while in the "valleys" of life, if we put our hope in God and Him
alone? If we let Him lead us through? If we keep our eyes fixed on Him?
Can it be that our walk with God can never be as deep if our lives are spent
on the "mountain top"?
We will be exploring these ideas in a bit more depth over the next 7
Saturday Nuggets. Please join us next Saturday, for "MOUNTAIN TOP
EXPERIENCES, Part 2: Ithaca is Gorges"
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist,
mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly
internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian
devotionals and inspirational poems,
with Answers2Prayer Ministries,