Profound wisdom from a rice farmer

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I found this standing stone at the top of Prayer Mountain, South Africa. May it stand forever of the faith established there.

It was the most profound thing I could have heard in that faith moment at the top of Prayer Mountain.  I, along with my missionary friend Mitch, had just led our team up Prayer Mountain, Badplass, South Africa.  We had just arrived and it was a team bonding experience to climb it together.  I didn’t know that it was going to be that intense.

The intensity went way past the physical aspect and transformed to a spiritual experience for me.  The team set out in small groups breaking along the way for water and rest.  We forged a rugged path, not following an organized trail, but our appointed guide Bruce.  There a couple of hiker guys in our group that split to go went their own way up the face of the mountain.  The rest of the group decided to follow our guide.

We didn’t know what was ahead, certainly didn’t know the magnitude of the altitude.  I had a sense of what God was going to show me, I had dreamed of this trek for months before.  I knew there was something special waiting for me.  I prayed to prepared to receive to take it all in.

Take it all in.  Wouldn’t that be a great perspective for each and every day as we follow God in this life?

It’s one thing to ask God to show you things, it’s another thing to have faith to receive and see what God has to show you.  Back to how the mission trippers were doing at this point.  We paced ourselves and I connected with Patsy, Ronald’s wife, and Tara Jamison, missionary to South Africa.  We talked of books and favorite authors on our way up.  Bruce led us and we followed, eventually.

At the top of Prayer Mountain, the team gathered to take communion.  I shared a inspirational devotional that I just read earlier that day about trust, prayer and being led by God in life.  And then it was if the heavens opened and the voice of God came down.

Ronald Gerston, a rice farmer from Texas, said this…”The problem with mountains is that no one lives there.”  Wow….I needed to hear that one line of wisdom about life.

The problem with mountains, no one lives there.  Most of life is lived in the valley.

The valleys of life and God.  Have you asked where is God in your valley?

I’ll be honest I have too.  I had some valleys in my day and I’m always looking for God in those days too.  When Ronald said such profound wisdom, the Holy Spirit quickened and stirred my heart and mind to enable me to see God’s presence in my valleys.

Our God, my Father is faithful.    My family has had some valleys just like yours.  We’ve had some unorganized trails we’ve been on. We’ve had some hard treks through cancer, illness and pain.  We’ve had some tough days of messiness.  We’ve had some stop, rest and take a drink of water days too.  We’ve been on many problematic trail, some full of suffering, some not.  Our Faithful Father has helped us with each one of them.  Every unknown step.

God has seen us through a lot of valleys.  Those profound words took me to a place where before I couldn’t see God working until they had been spoken over me.  In those days when I couldn’t see the next step, God was still there.  On the days ahead that I still can’t see, I know that God has already been there too.

When it was dark on that 7th floor surgery waiting room and I felt so alone, God was indeed there too, even though I couldn’t see Him.  How kind of our Heavenly Father to teach us to rely on His strength in those valley moments.  God was in my valley then and He is in all my valley days.

My heart fell silent with gratitude in those moments on Prayer Mountain where I was more filled with the Lord’s face than ever before.  I didn’t need to question the problems on the mountains or in the valleys ever again.

The Presence of the living God is can be felt wherever you are right now, whether it be a valley or not.  If you don’t feel the Lord then ask Him to show you.  He doesn’t just show His face on mountaintops because He knows most our lives are lived in the valley.

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