Life has its good days and its bad days. Sometimes everything feels like it falls right into place, and we feel good and free. Other days we feel as if the troubles and struggles of life won’t leave us alone. Good days, and bad days. Another way to look at it is like mountains and valleys, with their highs and lows.
We like the good days, so we call them the highlights or the high points of our days and lives. These are our mountaintop experiences and moments. Towering over everything, sitting in the clear, the world seems so simple. Troubles are forgotten in the midst of peace.
If the good days are mountaintops, then bad days are the valleys. Down there it’s harder to see what is going on around us. The sun can be hidden by trees and other obstacles. Dangerous animals, holes and traps lie unseen. In these “valley” days we face the troubles of life, the schemes of people around us, and the pain and darkness of not knowing.
There is a danger that we could look at whether our days are good or bad, a mountaintop or valley, and use the feelings of the day to determine if God is with us. We feel like God is with us on the mountaintop. Every-thing feels good and right, and our troubles are far away. Surely God is with us on those days. But then we believe God can’t be with us in the valleys. When we have sickness or pain, when people hurt us, when the world is confusing or scary or sad. God must not be with us in those times.
This past Sunday I preached about how the Holy Spirit brings the Presence of God to those who believe in Jesus Christ. The very first thing God does for us, is to give us His holy Presence. The Bible says He is with us and in us (John 14:17).
If God is with us and in us, how can we get away from Him? What could peel Him off of us or cut Him out of us? Nothing can. God doesn’t just show up and bring us a good day or good week. He doesn’t bless us for a short time and then pack up to leave us fending for ourselves.
God is always with us. Whether the sun is shining or the rain is pouring outside, God is there. When our hockey team is winning or losing. If we are hungry or if we are full. Surrounded by loved ones or feeling all alone. God is always there.
David wrote it like this in Psalm 139:
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you. (Psalm 139:7–12 NIV)
No matter where we go, He is there. I like verses 11 and 12 that say the darkness is nothing to God, because even darkness is like light to Him. He sees everything and knows everything, and He never leaves us.
As those who believe in Jesus, we don’t have to be afraid that God will abandon us. He doesn’t look ahead and see the difficulties headed our way and hit some kind of special “eject” button. An old James Bond car had an ejector seat to get rid of unwanted passengers. But God doesn’t bail on us. He doesn’t even just put on His seatbelt and hang on for the ride. God is with us and in us. He is the seatbelt, holding onto us and watching out for us as trouble slams into our lives.
We don’t have to wonder if God has left us, because He hasn’t. When we keep trusting, there is nothing on this Earth or rising from the depths of Hell that could separate us from Him and His love. Good days or bad days, mountaintops or valleys, God is always there.