Have you ever had “mountaintop experience” in your faith journey? A time when God’s presence and blessing were so overwhelming and undeniable that it was easy to find contentment in Christ because you felt like you were doing everything right? Thinking over the last eighteen years that I have been a believer, moments from mission trips, church activities, and prayers answered in the specific ways I asked for come to mind. These moments are pinnacle to my faith because they taught me the truth of Psalm 37:4
Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.
But where there are mountain tops, there are bound to be valleys as well. Moments of pain, despair, doubt, and defeat. The sin struggle that seems too overwhelming to overcome or the words you never expected to hear. The prayers answered in the opposite way in which you asked, and the moments when you find yourself asking the Lord, “Why?” For me, the years of infertility, the miscarriages, and the broken friendships sum up these moments. But it was in the valley, that I had a sweet encounter with the Word of God. Without those moments, I never would have experienced Lamentations 3:22,
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
But what about all those moments lived in-between? For some reason, the highs and the lows are where I most often encounter Christ, leaving my day-to-day faith running on fumes. How do I stay content in my relationship with Christ without experiencing a miracle or bandaging a broken heart?
I’ve been pondering that question recently. For the past several years, my life has been relatively normal. No grand quest made in the name of the Lord or moments of intense pain. And it is here, on the road in-between the high and the low where I find myself struggling even though there is nothing wrong. I unintentionally withhold my adoration from the Lord because nothing extraordinary is happening. Carpool lines, homework, and cooking dinner night after night is my life right now, and it is in this normality I’m battling discontentment.
The Lord silenced my inner turmoil with the word, abide.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. ~ John 15:4
Could my discontentment be connected to my choosing not to abide in Christ when living in the regular? What if clung to him for dear life even when life doesn’t feel like a wild ride? How would my relationship with Him improve if I lived in patient expectancy that He will show up on the mid-mountain path? Will I choose to habitually adhere to him instead of assuming I’m able to handle life on my own?
I don’t know where you are in the journey of abiding and contentment, but I’m certainly that abiding in Him– breathing the Spirit in and out with each breath – is the only way any of us will find contentment on this earth.
How do you abide in the Lord in the everyday and not just in the grand mountaintops or dark, scary valleys? I would love to hear from you.
Darby Dugger is a Christian speaker and writer who offers wives authenticity rather than advice. She has a knack for sharing her shortcoming while highlighting the hope found in God’s Word. She has a passion for Jesus and loves encouraging women, no matter where they are on their faith journey. Darby lives with her husband and their young five children on a farm in Crestwood, Kentucky. You can find her blog, Darby Dugger.