Can I just stay on the mountaintop?

Psalm 23:4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;”

Many of us have walked through the valley; some of us more than others; some of us are walking through it now. God doesn’t tell us He will remove us from the valley. He doesn’t say He will come in with a thousand angels and make it all better – although He could.

When I was a little boy, I sliced open my leg pretty deep on a rusted barbed wire fence. My mom called my dad and headed to the pediatrician’s office for stitches and a tetanus shot. Understandably, I was scared. I didn’t want a shot and I certainly didn’t want stitches. On the way to the doctor’s office my mom smiled at me with a worried but loving grin. “Michael, I will be with you the whole time. Don’t be afraid.”

I knew I had to get the shot, and I knew I had to get the stitches. It was going to hurt, too; but, my mom was going to be with me. She didn’t lie to me either. From the moment I got to his office until the moment I left, my mom never left my side. My dad made it there just in time for the final stitch and a promise of ice cream on the way home for being brave.

God is telling us that we will have hard times; we will have hurt; we will experience tragedy and pain; grief will fill our hearts; and sometimes, people we love will be taken from us. But “even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death…He is with us.” That means He isn’t going anywhere. He will not leave our side – not for a moment.

I wish we could always live on the mountaintop; but, mountaintops are temporary – and so are valleys. Wherever you are right now – mountaintop, valley, or somewhere in between – never doubt Who is by your side.

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