After every period of exaltation, we are brought down with a sudden rush into things as they are, where it is neither beautiful nor poetic nor thrilling. The height of the mountaintop is measured by the drudgery of the valley—but it’s in the valley that we have to live for the glory of God. When we are on the mountaintop, we see the glory of God, but we cannot live for it. Only in the depths of the valley, in the realm of humiliation, do we discover our true worth to God; only there is our faithfulness revealed.

Most of us can do all sorts of difficult things when we are filled with a sense of heroism. But this is only because of the natural selfishness of our hearts, our desire to be useful and adored. God wants us to relinquish the heroic frame of mind. He wants us to live in the valley according to our personal relationship to him.

“Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain. . . . And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses” (Mark 9:2, 4). After witnessing the vision of Elijah and Moses, Peter wanted to stay up on the mountain. But Jesus took him and the other disciples back down into the valley, the place where the meaning of the vision would be explained.

“‘If you can’? . . .” Look back at your own experience, and you will find that until you learned who Jesus was, you were skeptical of his power. When you were on the mountaintop, you could believe anything. But what about when you were up against facts in the valley? You may be able to give testimony about your miraculous spiritual experiences, but what about the thing that is humiliating you just now? The last time you were on the mountain with God, you saw that all power in heaven and earth belonged to Jesus. Will you see it now in the valley?

Wisdom from Oswald

Jesus Christ is always unyielding to my claim to my right to myself. The one essential element in all our Lord’s teaching about discipleship is abandon, no calculation, no trace of self-interest.
Disciples Indeed