Praising God in the Ebbs and Flows
Day 176: Praising God in the Ebbs and Flows
1 Kings 20:28 (AV)
28 And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the LORD, Because the Syrians have said, The LORD is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
The enemy's tactic is all about timing. He knows when we are at our weakest. He sits back once we've reached the height of the mountain. He allows us to bask in the view that the heights provide, but he knows we can't stay up there forever. He knows the Shepherd will lead His sheep down into the valley, into the ravines of darkness. Its often in those very valley's that we lose sight of the Shepherd (though He never takes His eyes off us). We begin to wonder where He is and what He is doing. That's when the devil will whisper, "The LORD is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys. He's left you. You're on your own."
Believer, God knows right where you are. You didn't climb that mountain on your own, and God didn't lead you into the valley to survive on your own. He has a purpose for the ebbs. Its there we realize just how dependent upon God we are. If we were to stay on the mountain, how long would it be before we began relying on our strength? How long would it be before we got comfortable and stopped fighting the good fight with the same vigor?
AMG Bible Publishers shares this history of the hymn writer Larry Bridgers:
God can bring fresh praise out of both tragedy and glory, as illustrated by this story about a favorite hymn. Luther Bridgers began preaching at age 17 while he was a student at Asbury College in Kentucky. He was a young Methodist minister of unusual zeal and evangelism. In 1910 the future looked bright for the 26-year-old preacher, who by then had a young wife and three children. The Bridgers family was visiting Mrs. Bridger's parents at Harrodsburg, Kentucky. After the family retired for the night, a neighbor noticed flames coming from the house. He roused Mrs. Bridgers' parents and Luther, but the rest of the family members were beyond reach. The young pastor lost his wife and children. In the awful days of sorrow that followed, Luther remembered that God offered songs of comfort in the night (Ps. 42:8), and would never forsake him. It was during this period that Luther wrote the words and music that we sing so many times: "There's within my heart a melody Jesus whispers sweet and low fear not, I am with thee, peace be still; in all of life's ebb and flow."
In the fourth stanza, he referred to his own experience: "Tho sometimes He leads through waters deep trials fall across the way."
In the darkest night, in the depths of despair, God gave an inward song to Luther Bridgers that has blessed millions. Out of a pit of grief came a song of blessing.
It's alright to be in an "ebb" in life because He'll send the "flow" before long. Just remember to share your testimony with God, and how He sent word, "I will deliver you."