three years ago, i jotted this excerpt down from oswald chamber’s “my utmost for His highest” in my journal. a group of my friends and i took a trip up north to chiang-mai and spent 3 days trekking in the jungle. we passed through a few tribal villages, rode elephants, bathed in the water-rushing creek, swam and bamboo-rafted down the mae tang river.
one afternoon, sweat soaking my skins after a long journey, i stood still as my eyes beheld God’s glory in the range of mountains before me. and i wish i could stay there forever with my friends, who, when i couldn’t walk another step further, carried my purse, held my hand and held up my bag for me; when i couldn’t get out of the water, pulled me up from the river; when i was shivering, gave me a hug; when i needed a company, stayed behind to talk with me; when my purse was lost, put every effort to work things out and cheered me up by giving me smile or pushing food plate for me to eat; when i had not a coin left because wallet was stolen, gave me enough money and said “you can repay me back in heaven”.
the chiang-mai trip in 2007 is one piece of treasure where i learned about true friendship in the body of Christ. yet, this love and friendship isn’t to be limited in our circle of friends but needs to be extended to others who don’t know Him.
so i’d like to introduce you to “the place of exaltation” – a reminder that we are made for the valleys…until that glorious day.
We have all experienced times of exaltation on the mountain, when we have seen things from God’s perspective and have wanted to stay there. But God will never allow us to stay there. The true test of our spiritual life is in exhibiting the power to descend from the mountain. If we only have the power to go up, something is wrong. It is a wonderful thing to be on the mountain with God, but a person only gets there so that he may later go down and lift up the demon-possesed people in the valley (see 9:14-18). We are not made for the mountains, for sunrises, or for the other beautiful attractions in life- those are simply intended to be moments of inspiration. We are made for the valley and the ordinary things of life, and that is where we have to prove our stamina and strength. Yet our spiritual selfishness always wants repeated moments on the mountain. We feel that we could talk and live like perfect angels, if we could only stay on the mountaintop. Those times of exaltation are exceptional and they have their meaning in our life with God, but we must beware to prevent our spiritual selfishness from wanting to make them the only time.
We are inclined to think that everything that happens is to be turned into useful teaching. In actual fact, it is to be turned into something even better than teaching, namely, character. The mountaintop is not meant to teach us anything, it is meant to make us something. There is a terrible trap in always asking, “What’s the use of this experience?” We can never measure spiritual matters in that way. The moments on the mountaintop are rare moments, and they are meant for something in God’s purpose.
By Oswald Chambers
“My Utmost for His Highest”
the girls of the trip