When you stand on a mountain top you are usually able to see other mountain tops. It's easy to see further into the distance when we are on high places. Sometimes our dreams feel like this. There are moments where we seem to be able to clearly see the future and have a measure of confidence for where we will take our next step.
When you are on a mountain top, and you can see the next mountain top, the view can be deceiving. The distance between where you are and where you want to end up is often misjudged. The obstacles below are too far away to make out clearly. So you set out for the second hill top, pacing yourself for the journey based on what you saw, how far you perceived it to be. But things change when you get into the valley.
Between two mountains there is always a valley. What you couldn't see from above now reveals itself. The path you envisioned between where you are to where you want to be becomes twisted. Sometimes it is blocked with obstacles that must be overcome or avoided. You could have never seen the intricacy of the path to your future from your starting point.
Sometimes this is how our journey feels. We have a picture of what God is laying out before us, but we lose sight of the steps in between where we are and where we are going. The valley can't be avoided, but it also shouldn't be feared. There is no way from one mountain top to another without crossing the valley. It is a designed part of the journey. What happens in the valley is what prepares you for the next mountain top.
As you emerge from the valley between today and your future and begin to climb back up toward the top, you must stay focused. The final climb is usually the point where we want to bail out. It's steep. Hope is fading but growing at the same time. On some particular climbs you may not even be able to see much of what's ahead because of the incline of the hill. But as you are about to give up you notice a break in the tree-line. Blue skies open wide. You crest the mountain and seemingly out of nowhere the horizon expands into the light. You've made it. The view is amazing. It's not what you pictured when you first looked across the valley. It's better!
Slowly you turn around and look back across the valley. Your perspective is different now. Among the dark shapes below you can clearly pick out the path that brought you back to the top of the mountain. What was once unknown and daunting is now in perspective. The perseverance displayed in the valley was the foundation for the endurance you needed to ascend the final climb.
This is the journey from our purpose, through pain and into promise. God may give you a glimpse of the promise when you grasp your purpose, but achieving it will require relentless focus, and unwavering hope.