Drawing close to God will destroy our assumptions about who he is. That is a good thing and shouldn’t be a surprise. A growing relationship is a learning process that helps us discover things about ourselves and the other, replacing error with knowledge. We assume many things about God and about his motives. People will proclaim “God won’t let” this or that happen, and I will think, Don’t be so sure about that. The notion develops when we are not intimately acquainted with God in a bond cemented by relationship in the best and worst of times, often at his behest. It is to trade insight of his character for low-level spiritual experiences that do no more than keep us excited and “churchy”.
In my post Some Cake for Your Journey, I warned: “We must be cautious about living for spiritual experiences.” I spoke of mountaintop and valley experiences that God purposefully brings into our lives beyond our day-to-day life with him, which can often seem mundane. I emphasized that if we’re not careful, we’ll get caught up in spiritual experiences and only seek earth-shattering God-moments and despise God-ordained hardship.
But herein is our problem rediscovered, for God uses the mountain and valley in his own way. The mountaintop, as we deem it, is a desirable, transcendent encounter; God sometimes grants us these moments of presence and power. But do we stop to think that he may also call us to climb the mountain to harden us or to persist with one in our lives until our faith matures to when we can speak to it and it be gone? That’s tough by his design.
Or the valley? We regard the valley as a place of woe, of trouble and testing, fraught with danger. But a loving Lord may choose to answer our prayers for relief or just love on us by hiding us in a beautiful valley, by calming streams, to rest and strengthen us.
We must be listening and learning wherever we are.
So it doesn’t matter the mountain or the valley or faith experienced in the mundane middle. We trust in the one who orders our steps. Regardless of the experience, his purpose is a richly wholesome relationship that increases our lives in unimaginable ways.