It’s not about the win and losses of life as much as it is about the journey. I’m sure you’ve heard that before, but have you ever really truly thought it through? What good would it be to bake a cake if there was no one there to eat it? How much more fun would it be to bake the cake with your 5-year-old and enjoy it together? Much more fun. Much more.

It’s awesome to attend weddings and celebrate the new amazing life of two people coming together, committing to love each other forever, but it wouldn’t be as rewarding to celebrate the weddings if you didn’t also appreciate the funerals. Funerals aren’t fun, but they remind us of the brevity of life, what deep love looks and feels like, and therefore make the weddings all that much more memorable and special. We appreciate the good times so we can make it through the hard times. We’ve all been through hard times, and if you haven’t been through any yet, I guarantee that you will go through them at some point. I’m not trying to be a fun-spoiler here, I just want to remind you of something rather encouraging actually. God is with you to walk with you through every spot in life, and his presence with you is always the same. The best of times and the worst of them are all with God. Through you greatest memories and your biggest mistakes, he is there. We know that we can trust God in the valleys because we’ve spent time with him on the mountaintops. In the valleys, God is with us, but we trust him in the valleys because we’ve seen his faithfulness on the mountaintops.

Mountaintops encourage us in the valleys.

I appreciate really great chocolate cake made with my 5-year-old because I’ve had some really bad burnt chocolate cake before. I know what good cake tastes like only because I’ve had awful cake. In the same way, you won’t recognize God’s voice until you practice listening to it. This year I hope you let God fill you with his love and the light of his word daily, so you can recognize his voice in every moment. And when dark moments come along, you won’t fall to the bottom of the valley floor because his voice will guide you along. Choose to give him your time every morning by reading your Bible and being diligent in prayer. He will transform you. He’ll literally fill your heart with light!

“Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.” Luke 11:35-36