Lifeís Hills and Valleys

by John C. Westervelt

Catherine Crain, the wife of my boyhood pastor, died on the second of August--two days after her ninety-second birthday. Her death reminded me of my own journey through life. I first met Catherine when I was a member of the Methodist Youth Fellowship at Wesley church in Oklahoma City in the 1940s.

I stayed in touch with Nuell and Catherine through the years, because I loved them so much. When I would visit my daughter Mary Kim in Dallas, Catherine, by now a widow, and one of her daughters would join us for lunch. Catherineís sparkling eyes and infectious laugh were the same as in the days of my youth.

Meditating on the loss of my friend, I imagined once again driving along the journey of life. Most of the journey is about looking out the windshield to view the present and occasionally straining my eyes to see the future on the dim horizon. A glance now and then in the rear view mirror lets me reminisce about the past.

My lifeís journey has been over hills of good times and through valleys of despair. On Godís earth there can be no hills unless there are valleys. I suppose lifeís journey must be the same.

I once owned a 1962 Volkswagen with a forty horsepower engine. In hilly terrain, I would accelerate near the bottom of the hill to make it out of the valley and up the next hill. Similarly, while on the top of the hills of life, I ask Jesus to increase my faith, so Iíll have the reserve to pull through the valleys. If you are struggling in a valley, remember that sooner or later a hill always follows a valley.

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