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Vol.  10  No. 5 May 2008  Page 17
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Robert Johnson

Hills and Valleys

By Robert Johnson

    “But the land that you are going over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water by the rain from heaven, a land that the Lord your God cares for. The eyes of the Lord your God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year” (Deuteronomy 11:11-12). The land the Israelites entered was one abundantly blessed by God. Whether one looked to the hills or valleys, God’s care was clear. It was understood in the fertile land, from which they would reap bountiful harvests. It was recognized in the protection God would offer from their enemies. As long as they remained faithful to God, He would always be with them, to provide and care for them.

   The time the Israelites spent in this land, though, would not always be easy. They had allowed idolatrous nations to remain among them. These nations would be a snare to Israel, seeking to turn them away from God. Their lives would find hills and valleys, good times as well as bad, trials with the blessings. If only they had remembered that God was with them through it all! By forsaking God, they abandoned their source of blessings. They would one day find themselves in a foreign land, taken captive because of their sins.

    Not all of life is filled with “mountain top” experiences, but neither is it always lived in the valley. We also have highs and lows in our lives, good times and bad, hills and valleys. We need to remember God is with us through it all. He is a constant source of strength and blessing for our lives. If we seek Him and His will, He will provide for us. Paul reflected this when he wrote, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Peter had this confidence; “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

    For Israel, living in a land of hills and valleys, God would help them. If they followed Him, in good times and bad, His strength would never fail them. For us as Christians, we can be victorious in the highs and lows of life. If we keep our lives focused on Him who loved us and offered Himself for us, He will never fail us. May we remember, while on the peaks of life, it is our loving heavenly Father who provides every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). May we also realize, even in the depths of seeming despair, God will provide the strength to see us through (Romans 8:35-38).

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