I am so excited to share this post by my friend Elizabeth Elliot. I love her heart for God and her heart for others. She has the joy of the Lord and she shares it with others. I know you will be challenged and blessed by her post.
Made for the Valley
The woman stood at the front of the room on the closing day of family camp. “I want to do big things for God!” she said passionately. “I want to serve Him in a big way!”
Her words resonated with me, and I wonder if they sound familiar to you, too. Many times after spending a few days away focused on the Lord instead of dirty dishes and unanswered emails, we come away with a mountain top feeling. We want to take the world on for God just like He took it on for us. We want to make an enormous difference in the kingdom!
There is just one problem with that. God didn’t call us to live on the mountain top or even to do big things for Him. God made us for the valley. He made us for the ordinary, for the piles of laundry that still need folding, for the noses that need wiping and the hugs that need giving. He made us to drive carpools, to make dinner and to serve our families even when we don’t feel like it – especially then. Oh yes, God gives us moments on the mountain for us to enjoy and bask in His glory. But he never intends for us to live there.
One of my favorite Amy Grant songs from growing up is called, fittingly, “Mountain Top.” It’s an oldie but a goodie. The chorus goes like this:
“And I’d love to live on a mountain top
Fellowshipping with the Lord
I’d love to stand on a mountain top
‘Cause I love to feel my spirit soar
But I’ve got to come down from that mountain top
To the people in the valley below
Or they’ll never know that they can go
To the mountain of the Lord.”
We all have big dreams – dreams of our own making or God-sized dreams that he has given us on the mountain. He can and will fulfill the dreams he has given us in his timing. But while we are waiting … I think He really just wants us to be obedient and serve Him – and each other – in the little things that make up the valley. “We are not made for the mountains, for sunrises, or for the other beautiful attractions in life – those are simply intended to be moments of inspiration. We are made for the valley and the ordinary things of life, and that is where we have to prove our stamina and strength,” writes Oswald Chambers.
As we walk in the valley today, let us remember that the little things we do or say can either point others to the mountain top, or steer them away. And in God’s economy, serving him in little ways can make an enormous difference in the kingdom.
In what ways do you plan on serving God in the valley?
Elizabeth B. Elliott lives in Houston, TX with her husband, Mike, their three children, a dog, a guinea pig and a one-eyed cat. Elizabeth teaches pre-school art and science, and when she is not cooking or running the family taxi service she squeezes in time to work on her first novel, “Primrose Cottage.” The Elliotts have all their clocks set for EST – Elliott Standard Time.