Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Monday, April 22 - Through The Valley

“The Israelites ate manna forty years, until they came to a land that was settled; they ate manna until they reached the border of Canaan.” — Exodus 16:35

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Sportsmanship is a value spoken about in coaches clinics, during practice sessions with players, and by media personalities. It’s an especially hot topic when coaches, athletes or fans lose control after losing or a referee makes a bad call.

Emotions often run high before, during and after sporting events, so it’s essential to decide beforehand how to display good sportsmanship, mutual respect and cooperation whether a game is won or lost. We can’t let surging emotions lead us, whether riding on a high-energy success or treading through a hard low time in a game or season. Win or lose, mountaintop or valley, we can choose to show good character and treat others well.

If we want inspiration to keep an even-keeled attitude through the highs and lows, we can look at the McKameys’ signature gospel song, “God on the Mountain.” The McKameys performed gospel songs for six decades, and this popular song was written by Tracy Dartt after his swimming pool business went through a dry spell. Expenses were larger than profits and his business partner gave up in frustration. Dartt, a part-time gospel singer and songwriter, could hear words ringing in his ears: The God on the mountain is still God in the valley.

This song reminds me of Moses. When Moses visited with God on top of a mountain, he experienced some of the best times of his life. As the Lord revealed Himself and delivered the Ten Commandments, Moses glowed just by spending time near God. “When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him” (Exodus 34:29-30). Moses was able to enjoy the presence of God to the fullest on the top of the mountain. But he couldn’t stay there all the time. He also had to dwell in the valley where challenges happened and trouble brewed.

However, God took care of Moses and the people in the low valley just as well as He did on the mountaintop. When the Israelites were hungry and thirsty in a barren wilderness, the Lord sent food and water just in time, and calmed everybody’s doubts and fears. “The Israelites ate manna forty years, until they came to a land that was settled; they ate manna until they reached the border of Canaan” (Exodus 16:35). The Lord provided over and over again, despite His people’s disobedience, grumbling and unfaithfulness. God also sent underground water up to them through solid rock. “He split the rocks in the wilderness and gave them water as abundant as the seas” (Psalm 78:15).

This same God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, so is more than able to provide for us in whatever we are facing. Whether you are in a mountaintop season or a low valley, hold fast to the truth that He is the same faithful God and you will see His hand on your life in either place. Stay steadfast in Him, and your character will be a light for others.

— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia

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