From the road out of Eden to the streets of gold in Heaven, scripture is filled with roads. Some roads are easy to travel, but most are wrought with danger. Some are little more than trails up the mountainside while others are broad highways through the desert. Scripture is clear; we are all on a journey.
The terrain may change, but the One who guides us never changes. Therein lies our hope.
This year, my road has been through the high hills surrounding the deep valley. Some days I travel quickly down the hillside while others I trudge back up the next. Yet when I reach the top of each hill, God stops me to take in the view. From here, I can see for miles. I can watch the sun pass from one horizon to the other. I can also see the valley below me. I can see the travelers on the hard road that falls in the shadow of the hills. They cannot see the sun rise or set because of the hills. Their days shortened, some feel as if the valley never ends.
From up on the hilltop, I can see their discouragement in the way their steps slow, in the way they stop rising early eager to start the day, and in the way they lose hope and sit down while the sun is still high above them. My human desire is to run down there and walk with them through it, but God revealed to me there is something much more powerful I can do.
“Make their eyes look up to Me.”
From the hilltop, I can be an encourager. My voice carries far and wide through the valley from up here. I can encourage more than one traveler at a time. I can remind them how far they’ve come and sometimes warn them of what lies ahead. More importantly, I can make them look up. They won’t see me, because I’m too small and too far, but they will look up and see Him. Their hearts will be reminded that they aren’t alone in the valley. Their eyes will see the light cresting the hilltops, reminding them that the valley isn’t forever.
God will renew their hope and in turn my hope is renewed. For each time, I see my fellow travelers overcome discouragement and walk boldly in faith, I know that when I’m on the long hard road through the valley, they will in turn be those who remind me to look up.