Summary: The old cliche, :No matter where you go there you are." should include and so is God. We may question why we are there, but He is always there for our good.
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
We would not long for the mountain top if we never experienced the valleys. Had we never experienced the the mountain top we would not seek to return, but might remain in the valley forever. Indeed, if we just saw it from the valley we might fear what is there and never climb it While the valley affords the protection of the mountain we are often placed in the valley to escape the dangers of the mountain like arrogance, pride and complacency.
Mountains can be so high that the air is so thin we require that which is outside ourself if we are survive and function at our best. Spiritually, the Holy Spirit is our oxygen tank and mask that will take us to heights we cannot think of obtaining on our own.
Valleys can be so low that the protection of the mountains seems to make the sun disappear for most of the day. This is where we rely on what we know and not on what we feel. We know the sun comes up everyday even when the clouds and mountains obscure it's brightness and warmth. At times that is all we need is the knowledge of that consistency to make our time in the valley more bearable.
We stay in the valley too long when God would have us climb to the mountaintop to see the grandeur and expanse of His creation. He wants us to see He can handle any valleys between the mountains. Note I said climb. Often we want an elevator or to be beamed up like Kirk and Spock. He does do that, but sometimes there are lessons and jewels of wisdom He wants us to learn and gather that will make the mountaintop even greater.
Sometimes, we are mining instead of climbing because God wants to show us that there are great treasures in the valley that would not see on the climb or at the peak or even just on the surface of our valley. Oft times we must dig to see the lessons God wants us to learn and find the gems. He would have use rejoice with great joy when we find them.
If we refuse to dig we miss those things and may stay in the valley longer than God desired. Yes, we can exercise our free will and not start the climb when He says and miss out on some blessings. He almost allows us to use our free will. Jonah is an example of an exception. We can find what He wants us to be blessed with or we can sit and sulk in the valley refusing to either climb or dig.
Even the oceans have mountains and valleys. Depending on the heights and depths there we see life we would not see if we stayed on the surface. Those who have plunged the depths have found treasures and creatures that the masses will never see. The deeper you go in the ocean the more equipment you need to see what is there as well as survive. Again, the Holt Spirit is your guide, air and light to plumb the depths of God's wisdom and creation.
Enjoy the mountains and the fresh clean air, but do not be afraid to dig to mine all the valley has to offer. Enjoy the the beam up or elevator, yet do not resist the climb as it may be best for you. Be willing to let God take you to the depths that may scare you. The rewards are worth it. Cast all your fears into God's hands. Grow closer to Him in faithful dependence for He is the faithful God who can be depended upon.
Dig and dive deep for you do not what God will surprise you with as you let Jesus and the Spirit guide, strengthen, sustain and enlighten you, He is with you in the heights and the depths so He can broaden your horizons and lengthen the joy in your days. Maranatha!