Have you ever felt like you’ve hit rock bottom? Like your life couldn’t get any worse?
I’ve felt this way probably two times in my life if we’re talking rock rock bottom. Now I’m not going to waste my time dwelling upon these things. We all have hardships in life. Pain, sadness, suffering – it’s all part of life.
I recently had my second “rock bottom moment” as I like to refer to them. I was having a rather normal day over Christmas break; actually I’d say it was a pretty good and relaxing day. But that night something happened that just made my whole day turn upside down. Everything hit me at once, and I was, I kid you not, lying on my bedroom floor crying. Now, I don’t want to seem like some over dramatic girl who cries over everything, but in this instant when I felt like my life was crumbling in front me, I lost all strength to hold myself up – hence the reason I ended up lying on the floor. I physically did not have the strength to pull myself up off the floor. I couldn’t gather up the strength to simply stand or even sit up. I felt as if I was carrying so much weight on my shoulders that I couldn’t move. But eventually I had the spiritual strength to rise from my circumstances because of God’s grace, mercy, and relentless love, and that’s what I would like to share with you now.
In the midst of this “rock bottom moment”, I had my Jesus music playing, and a song that I had never heard before came on. It was a song called “Hills and Valleys” by Tauren Wells. These lines immediately stood out to me:
“On the mountains, I will bow my life to the one who set me there.
In the valley, I will lift my eyes to the one who sees me there
When I’m standing on the mountain, I didn’t get there on my own
When I’m walking through the valley end, I am not alone!”
We all know the hills and valley analogy. The good times are the hills and the not so good times are the valleys. Well y’all, this Tauren Wells guy just took it to a whole new level I had never thought of.
Whenever we are on a mountain top – whether it be a spiritual peak, a sport peak, a relationship peak, etc. – GOD PUT YOU THERE. We can never reach a mountain peak without the help of God. We hear this directly from the bible in John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Apart from God, we can do nothing. Every achievement on this earth, every mountain peak we have reached, we have been granted to by God’s grace, love, and mercy. We did not get to the mountain top alone. And y’all this is not something to be ashamed of. When we reach that mountain peak we should rejoice that the Lord’s love is so great that He would help us get to the top of the mountain. That the Lord loves us so much, He believed we could achieve that goal.
Now, whenever we are in a valley, or maybe we are stuck in a ditch in the valley at rock bottom, God is with us. Even in the darkest times of our lives when we feel abandoned by all else, God is with you. You are never alone. God sees you at all times. When you are at your worst, maybe when you’re on your bedroom floor crying, God looks at you and sees hope and loves you regardless of your flaws. So, in the dark valleys in our lives when we simply cannot find the strength to get up, look up to God because He is watching you and He is there. He will grant you the strength you need to not only climb out that ditch you are in, but He will also give you the strength you need to climb the mountain and reach the peak. And the best part is that He does this because He loves you.
How awesome is this that we have a God of ‘Hills and Valleys’?! A God who helps you reach mountain peaks. A God who sees you in your darkest times and stands by you.
Isaiah 30:21 says, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” I find this quote very fitting with my message today. No matter which way we go – left, right, up, or down – God will stay next to us. He will remain at our side forever whispering into our ear the correct way to go. He will forever be calling us to Him. It is our job to listen for that calling. Our job to respond to that calling. Our job to take the first brave step in the direction of His calling. God tells us the way. It is our job to walk in it. Why would we not walk in it when we have a God who pulls us out of ditches and onto mountain, out of darkness and into light?
I am praying to St. Theresa for all those who read this little message. I’m praying for you that in your times of darkness, times at rock bottom, you may remember that God is next to you, holding your hand, whispering into your ear the right way. I’m praying for you that in your times of light on the mountain peak, you may remember to show gratitude for the Lord and His mercy, love, and grace.
St. Therese of Lisieux, pray for us