I have thought a lot recently about mountains and valleys. I know for a Christian many think that mountains represent good times and valleys can mean times of trial or struggles.

This may be true, but I am reminded that there is always a mountain to climb before I can enjoy the view, or blessing at the top.

Then I am faced with the struggle of keeping my balance as I make my way down the other side. Yet in the valley the path is level, the grass green, and the waters clear and still.

As one song says, "In the valley He restoreth my soul." In another song I listen to the words, "my Shepherd chose this route so I can say without a doubt, this valley is for me." So, yes, storms do come in the valley.

Without my climb up the mountain, I would never know the blessing waiting at the top.

Yet until I cross the valley I can't reach the next mountain and I realize it is all a part of the life God has planned for me.

In my years of walking with God I have climbed many mountains, faced many trials and enjoyed many blessings.

In the valleys have come many storms, with wind, rain, and rainbows. I remember too, that some of my most treasured times with God have been in a valley.

During many of the darkest times in my life, when the valley seemed never to end, God was there, His love and presence very real. It was at these times that I knew His touch, heard His voice, or received the answer I needed.

Always His strength, care and guiding love was with me, bringing me to the base of the mountain. I love the mountains, but I would never have wanted to miss the valleys.

Last Sunday Pastor sang the song, "One More Valley." I was blessed as I remembered that the psalmist tells of walking through the valley of the shadow of death.

I can't say I look forward to this, nor do I fear it as I know my God will be with me all the way. I know too, it will be the last valley I will ever need to cross.

I praise God for the blessings on the mountains, and in the valleys, of this life.