Peaks and Valleys – Daily Devotion


JUST AS WE HAVE HOMES, BIBLE STORIES LIVE IN PLACES, AND THIS IS ONE OF THEM. WE’RE IN ISRAEL,
IN JUDAH’S HILL COUNTRY. JUDAH’S HILL COUNTRY
IS COMPOSED OF MOUNTAINS WITH VERY STEEPLY SLOPED SIDES, AND THEY TERMINATE IN VERY, VERY NARROW
V-SHAPED VALLEYS. AS YOU LOOK UP THOSE STEEP RIDGES YOU SEE ABOUT 60 PERCENT OF IT
IS ERODED DOWN TO BEDROCK. IT LOOKS A LITTLE HARSH. AND MY GOODNESS,
LIFE HERE WAS CHALLENGING. YOU KNOW, THE PLACE
WASN’T SO MUCH HOSTILE TO THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE
AS IT WAS JUST UNCOOPERATIVE. WHAT I MEAN BY THAT IS,
WE’RE LOOKING AT A SPACE WHERE IT’S HARD
TO GROW YOUR FOOD. IMAGINE THAT IF THE ONLY NATURAL FARMLAND AVAILABLE TO YOU IS JUST IN THESE
NARROW VALLEY BOTTOMS, THERE ISN’T MUCH
ACREAGE TO FARM. AND SO THE REALITY IS
YOU HAVE TO, QUITE LITERALLY, BUILD YOUR FARMING ACRES ON TERRACES UP THESE SLOPES. SOME OF THOSE TAKE
FOUR TO TWELVE YEARS TO BUILD JUST ONE ACRE.
IMAGINE THAT! BUT YOU KNOW,
THE WORST OF IT IS WATER. WE ALL NEED IT AND THIS PLACE
IS REALLY CHALLENGED FOR WATER. THE ONLY WATER
AVAILABLE IS RAINFALL, NO STREAMS, NO LAKES,
AND IT MEANS THAT I HAVE TO DIG A WELL DOWN TO
THE GROUND WATER, OR I HAVE TO ACQUIRE WATER, RUNOFF WATER, VIA A CISTERN. UH, IT’S TOUGH HERE,
AND THE STORIES OF PEOPLE LIKE ABRAHAM AND SARAH,
NAOMI AND RUTH, SOMETIMES ARE HARD STORIES
BEING LIVED OUT IN A HARD LAND. IT’S HELPFUL TO JOIN ABRAHAM
AND SARAH, NAOMI AND RUTH, BECAUSE THE SAME GOD
WHO CARED FOR THEM AND WHO LOVINGLY SUSTAINED THEM IN LIFE IN THIS PLACE IS INTENTIONALLY RIGHT THERE WITH YOU AND WITH ME. WE HAVE A GOD WHO HELPS US LIVE LIFE EVEN THROUGH THE HARD TIMES WE MIGHT EXPERIENCE HERE
IN JUDAH’S HILL COUNTRY.

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