1 Kings 20 tells the story of 2 kings waging war. One king, Ben-Hadad, was determined to take control of the Israelites and their king, Ahab. Initially they battle in the hills and God gives the victory to Ahab and his people. King Ben-Hadad’s officials advise him that the king should try to attack again, but this time on the plains/the valleys. They’re reasoning is that the Israelite god is one of the hills so Ben Hadad will be victorious if he attacks in the valleys. God, who is not limited to hills nor valleys, responded with:
“Because the Arameans think the LORD is a god of the hills and not a god of the valleys, I will deliver this vast army into your hands, and you will know that I am the LORD.”
This story reminds me of how often I put God in a box myself. Sometimes, God is a god of Sundays but not Friday/Saturday nights. Maybe God is a god in church but not at home when I’m frustrated with my kids or my husband. Maybe God is a god of my quiet time but not my work time. How many years and opportunities and victories have I lost because I didn’t realize God is a God of everything…everywhere..not just when it’s convenient to me or I need something from him?
The idea that God is God of the hills AND the valleys means that God is God whether he miraculous heals Chris or allows him to remain in the hospital for months battling for his life. The circumstances or events of my life don’t dictate whether God is God. He either is, or he isn’t. My faith doesn’t change who he is, but it does change how I see things and the opportunities I give him to be glorified. Only God knows the number of our days and how they will be spent. Only God knows the impact our story will have on the life of another.
If I were to write our story, would I choose for Chris to wake up tomorrow strong and completely healed and allowed to miraculously go home? Of course! While in my mind, I can see how amazing a story like that would be and how awesome it would be to share it with others. But what if a story like that, without turmoil and struggle doesn’t reach the heart of the one God is seeking? What if only walking through the turmoil and difficulties and unknowns can God reach the one whose heart has been hurt and broken? What if it’s only through our faithfully walking through this storm that revival happens?
Will I trust God to be the god of the hills and the valleys then?