The above painting is titled, "Sha'ar HaGai," which means "Gate of the Valley." It was created by Israeli artist Oded Feingersh (born 1938).
Sha'ar HaGai is today the site of a paved, easily passable road; but in biblical times it was the path through the valley travelers coming from Jaffa and beyond took on their way to Jerusalem. It was an arduous journey up to the temple. Along the way, worshippers encouraged themselves singing, “I will lift up mine eyes to the hills from whence cometh my help” (Psalm 121).
The people could not ascend to the mountain without passing through the valley. Their destination, the holy mountain and site of the temple, was the place the presence of God lived.
Why is this significant to you and me today? This journey symbolizes our spiritual trek from this land where we now live to our eternal home in heaven.
Valleys represent suffering.
Mountains represent victory.
Both are part of the journey.
The valley is the gate to the mountain top.
Keep walking. Keep worshipping. You have a Helper and a Keeper on your way to the Holy City.
Don't look down.
Don't focus on the things around you.
The Lord will preserve you on your travels, today . . . and even forevermore.