“The burden of the valley of vision.” (Isaiah 22:1)
This is first sentence in the first verse of chapter twenty-two of Isaiah. In my Bible, I have written next to it, “You see more in the valley than you do on the mountaintop.” This may be contrary to natural laws of vision that tell us, the higher up one is, the more one can see of the surrounding vistas. But it would depend on what one is trying to see. When it comes to spiritual matters, the more you look at what’s happening around you, the more likely you are to sink. Ask Peter.
One reason why the valleys of life are more enlightening is that we tend to be quieter during those times. Mountaintop experiences (and I love them) often cause us to bubble over with word, song, and, yes, praise; which is all well and good. Wonderful even. What could be better than praising God? Well, maybe, listening to Him. I don’t know about you, but when my heart is breaking, I’m more apt to raise it up to God for comfort and guidance. The longer I live, the more convinced I become that for most of our lives, God finds it hard to get a word in edgewise. This is why, according to C.S. Lewis, God often has to resort to His “megaphone” of pain.
When we’re in the valley, we may not be able to see what’s going on around us, but, oh, what a vision we have of the sky! As the old preachers used to say, the devil may hedge us in, but he’ll never put a roof over us. As long as we can look up and see the face of God, no valley can confine us for long. I’m reminded of the promise God gave to Israel about the coming day when Christ will reign visibly in the City of the King, Jerusalem. “Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low…And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed…” (Isa. 40:4-5).
In the meantime, may you and I not fail to see all God has for us to see in every valley in which we find ourselves. May each one of them truly be a…valley of vision.