Mountaintop. Most of the time we use this term to describe highpoints of life—the pinnacles of emotion, the successes in life. It is often accompanied by feelings of euphoria.
So then the valley often describes loneliness, despair—the pits!
But I see those terms differently now. For three years, we literally lived on a mountaintop–Leadpole Mountain. The chalet we rented in Cleveland, GA clung to the side of a steep mountainside, which gave us a million-dollar view of the valley below. And to make it even more awe-inspiring, the pristine campus where we teach is nestled in the lap of that valley. No matter the weather or the season, the scene often took our breath away. We often tried to capture sunsets or blankets of fog that allowed the peaks to—peek out—but no picture could do it justice.
Last spring we were informed that the owners of the chalet wanted to put it on the market to sell. We could either buy it (which we considered, but eventually denied) or vacate it. We chose to look for a house to buy. It just so happened that some very good friends of ours were building a spec house in a new subdivision—in the valley. The house was perfect, but could we give up our view? It was a tough choice. Mountain property here is plentiful, but rather expensive and sometimes treacherous so we didn’t feel the timing was right to make that investment. We opted for the valley. We OPTED for the valley.
But the mountaintop of life didn’t disappear with the change of view. In fact, the idea has taken on a new meaning. Metaphorically we’re still very much on the mountain. No matter the scene out my window, (which is beautiful) I am still in awe of what God has done to bring us to this place. Provisions that we could never have imagined were presented to us through a maze of events that we couldn’t have orchestrated if we had wanted to.
Jeremiah, the Weeping Prophet (or perhaps the Whining Prophet) writes a litany of complaints in Lamentations 3. But after describing the pain and suffering he has endured, he stops and writes:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
We recognize these words as the basis of the great hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.”
It is my song as I take in my view from here – here on the mountaintop.