In 2009 I graduated from Florida Memorial University with a Master of Science in Literacy with awards to accompany it. It was a long road for me and my family, as the journey was dotted with scars, pain, and sacrifice and humiliation along the way. I could not contain my jubilation as they call me up for the diploma. I finally made it to the mountain top! My wider family and friends network sent greetings. Past teachers sent congratulations. It felt like I had finally surmounted the mountain. I had arrived at the summit. My good fortune did not stop there. During the graduation ceremony, one of my past professors, guaranteed me a position as a professor at that same institution. A short time later, I bought myself a Gold Jaguar. It felt like someone would feel after climbing Mount Everest.
Some only celebrate you on the mountain
When people saw the blessings on my family and I, they began to recognize God’s grace in our lives. Even people who thought I would never amount to anything, began to recognize that God was with us in our mountain-top experience. People who never saw God’s hands on me, began to confess his work in our mountain-top experience.
Still, it is a great truth that God works on mountains. Jesus met Moses and Elijah on the Mount of transfiguration. Elijah evoked that great miracle on Mount Carmel. Moses talked with God on Mount Sanai. Jesus redeemed us on Calvary. And the most significant sacrifice that foreshadowed the death of Jesus occurred on Mount Moriah, where Isaac, Abraham’s son’s life was spared, and a ram became the substitute which projected Jesus. So, divinely ordained feats have always transpired on mountain tops.
It’s true, God drives the mountain story
Surprisingly, a scarcely known mountain experience is found in 1st Kings 20. It starts with King Ben-Hadad of Aram threatening to go up to the hills of Samaria the capital city of Israel to fight King Ahab and a depleted Israeli army. The first verse of 1st Kings 20 say, Ben-Hadad mustered his entire army; and that was not enough. So, he brought the armies of 32 other kings with him.
But God showed up on that mountain because that is what he does. How many times have you reached your mountain top experience, and someone is daring to take you down a notch or two? How often have you busted your behind, burned the midnight oil, and as soon as you get the promotion, all types of haters come out of the woodwork. The whole time you are driving that jalopy and saving your money no one notices, but when your Lexus pulls in the driveway, the hate begins. But remember, the same God who brought you to the mountain top is able to keep you from falling.
Don’t be daunted by haters because God does not leave when your get to the summit.
God is in the valley too
God sent a prophet up to Samaria with a message to Ahab, saying don’t you worry. The same God that helped build Samaria on the hilltop still reigns above the mountains and will deliver the Aramean’s army into your hands, along with all the accompanying nations.
In the face of those great armies the prophet told Ahab to use only his junior officers and seven thousand soldiers. 1st Kings 20: 19, the junior officers marched …at that, the Arameans fled, Ben-Hadad their king escaped on horseback. Israel inflicted heavy losses on their enemies.
Verse 23, meanwhile, the officials of the King Be- Hadad advised him: their gods are gods of the hills,
that is why they were so strong for us. But if we fight them in the valley, we surely will be stronger than they. Same conversation Satan had with God about Job – only if you make him poor and destitute and lonely…
Verse 26, the next spring the Arameans went to Aphek to fight Israel [again]. Verse 28, the man of God came up and told the King of Israel, “because the Arameans say that the Lord is a God of the hills and not God of the valleys, I will deliver this vast army into your hands and you will know, I am the Lord.”
Verse 29, the Israelites inflicted one hundred thousand casualties on the Arameans in one day. The rest escaped to the city of Aphek, where the wall collapsed and killed another 27 thousand soldiers while King Ben-Hadad scurried away.
Lord of Mountain and Valley
But for the people who are waiting for you to fall, remember: For the God on the mountain Is still God in the valley, when things go wrong, He’ll make them right, And the God of the good times, is still God in the bad times. The God of the day, Is still God in the night. On some occasions, the only times we see God is in our mountain top experience. But the valley is important to him too.
Dottie Rambo wrote: “When I am low in spirit, I cry Lord lift me up. I want to go high with thee. But nothing grows high on the mountain, so he picked out a valley for me. He leads me besides still waters, somewhere in the valley below. He draws me aside to be tested and tried, but in the valley he restoreth my soul.”
Your valley experience is as critical as your mountain experience. For it is in trial we learn patience. It is in trial we are refined as pure Gold. It is trial that produce perseverance. Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown. Brethren, enjoy your mountain top experience, but remember, to every mountain, there is a valley below.