On hills and valleys

Deuteronomy 11:10-12

The land you are entering to take over is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you planted your seed and irrigated it by foot as in a vegetable garden. But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.

Recently, this verse was brought to my attention and I'll admit that I have never fully read through Deuteronomy because I just assumed there would be nothing there for me. But in typical fashion, the Lord likes to show up in unlikely ways, places, and sometimes with a little wink of surprise. 

This verse, along with Philippians 4:19 (And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus) has been on my mind since I heard them. The couple that was speaking was using these verses to speak about marriage and perseverance, but the verses were so timely to me in every other area of my life that I know that God was trying to get my attention. I had spent the entire morning completely stressed out about money, about friends, about the future, and everything else that's out of my control and I was actually losing control myself. 

My mind was in a heavy battle with itself. A raging battle where silence doesn't exist and there is no rest for the weary. As soon as these verses were spoken, the battle ceased. I felt myself take this deep breath and relief washed over me at the reminder that God will supply my every need AND that in the land I live in, His eyes are on every hill and valley from January through December. As Jon and I took the arduous trip up to LA for a concert (I mean seriously people, why does anyone live in LA? And if you live in LA, why would you ever leave your house when it takes 2 hours to get anywhere?!) we were talking about the events that had unfolded and I was realizing that since moving to Orange County it's been extremely difficult for me to truly rest my mind. Physically, I feel rested, but mentally I am in a constant state of exhaustion. And on that particular day, my mind just couldn't take it anymore. 

I touched on this briefly in a previous post, but since moving up I have been feeling this overwhelming sense of having to keep up with everything. Buy this, wear that, go on this trip, have a bigger house, get a newer this ... and it is just plain exhausting. Not only is it exhausting, but most of this stuff I'm not even in a hurry to get! (Ok, the Europe trip, I'd love to take tomorrow, but everything else, I'm cool with waiting.) My mind is constantly in a battle, which I believe is ultimately coming down to identity and trust because so much has changed for me in the last few months. My identity has been challenged because what I have known for so long has been flipped upside down. My trust in God has been challenged because we have taken a risk in moving, changing communities, and reducing to basically 1 income. It's not that anything bad has happened. Life is actually really great. But in a desperate search for control over something, anything in my life, my mind never rests.

Rest was supposed to be one of those new years goals of mine. So far, not so good. Good thing I still have 10 months to figure it out. 

This year is going to be full of hills and valleys. I already know that. That's just a part of life and there is no getting around it. But what would it look like if through the hills and valleys I trusted that God would supply my every need (emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally, monetarily etc...) and actually rested in that peace? What would it look like if I demonstrated gratitude for everything I currently have instead of constantly aching for better, more, bigger, newer? I am filled with an absolute longing for that kind of contentment. That contentment is right at my fingertips if I choose to grab it, so why is it so difficult to reach out and claim that victory? I have no idea. If you have that answer, send your advice my way. 

I guess this post doesn't have a pretty ending with a wise lesson. I suppose it was intended as a reminder to myself (and anyone else who needs it) that through the hills and the valleys, our needs will be supplied and God is still good. We have a lot to be grateful for, let's choose gratitude today and every day. One step at a time I believe that we can be an example of contentment in a world ridden with comparison and strife.