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DAILY Devotion

Life in the Valley

By Dena J. Dyer
Guest Columnist -- "Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters-one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah" (Matthew 17:4).

A couple of weeks ago, my husband, son and I traveled to Sedona, Arizona for our biannual family reunion. It was a wonderful, refreshing time. We stayed in the mountains, slept in a log cabin by a creek and relished the reunion's non-schedule. Lazily, we caught up on our extended family's lives, played horseshoes, shopped in Sedona and enjoyed the beautiful red rock formations.

It was so relaxing that I tried to figure out a way to stay. "Maybe God is calling us to do resort ministry here," I told my spouse, who laughed. "This is a New Age center. We could open a Christian music theater. Just picture it: Sedona Live!"

It encourages me to know that the disciple Peter had a mountaintop experience with Jesus, and he wanted to stay, too. But though God gives us mountain experiences to renew and restore us, He calls us to live in the valley. And while "valley dwelling" is often not as fun as mountain climbing, Jesus is always with us-no matter what our emotions may say.

In Lion and Lamb, Brennan Manning writes: "When things are plain and ordinary, when we live on the plateaus and in the valleys (which is where most of the Christian life takes place) and not on the mountaintops of peak religious experiences, this is no reason to blame ourselves, to think that our relationship with God is collapsing . . . Frustration, irritation, fatigue, and so forth may temporarily unsettle us, but they cannot rob us of . . . the peace of Christ Jesus."

So when the dishes pile up, the bills keep coming and my toddler is pushing my buttons (again!) I need to remember that the peace of Christ is as close as my next breath. When I pray for His comfort, He always answers. And these "low" days sure make me appreciate the times when I seem to float above the world.

As author William Coleman says: "The truth is that without valleys there are no mountains. Life is not an endless plain with no ups or downs. There is joy and there is pain."

And, above all, there is Jesus.

Copyright 2002, by Dena J. Dyer. Used by permission.

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