In the Valley

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This is a familiar psalm to most people. It came to mind last week as a friend was opening up about the season she finds herself in. She can’t “feel God” and for the first time in her life, is questioned whether or not she actually has faith.

She is in the valley.

The only thing she senses is a dark, looming shadow and the hope is dim.

The odd thing was that as she was sharing, my insides filled with anticipation for her.

I wonder…

Does God allow us to enter these valleys so dark and blinding in order to reshape the way we see? Does He use these times to let old habits die hard and retrain our normal way of doing life to a deeper, more Christ-like way of following Him?

In the valley…

We shall not be in want. Everything we need in times of lacking will be filled by Jesus. Spiritual lacking. Financial lacking. Emotional lacking. The LORD is my Shepherd.

There are green pastures. And He will make us lie down. In this life, we will run and grow weary. We will rely on our own strength. Yet through the valley, He shows us how to lie down and teaches us what it means to truly rest in Him.

In the Valley there are quiet waters that restore us. This world is loud and sometimes deafening to the point where our circumstances inhabit our ability to see and hear the voice of God clearly. It’s in these times when the rod and staff of discipline and correction are comforting. We come to a place where we realize, we cannot lead ourselves this way any longer. We need a new normal and Jesus is there to lead us to it.

Since I’ve had my iPhone, there have been a couple of times when it starts acting up and not working properly. Once, it got to the point that it actually shut down and I could no longer turn it on. I was instructed to restore my phone to its original factory settings. When I followed these instructions, everything I had added to it {the apps, my documents, my music, my contacts} was erased. All the junk that had been collected into its memory, of which any of it could have been the cause of its dysfunction, was quickly wiped out and my phone returned to the way it was when I received it. As I began to add to it again, I was more selective and careful. My phone started working again like it was brand new.

In the valley, we find ourselves at a place where God wants to tear away the things causing our dysfunction. The old habits and patterns we have fallen into. The lies we have chosen to believe. He wants to return our hearts to the place we were intended to be and sometimes it requires a long walk through a valley to handicap us in order to rely fully on Him.

Though it feels lonely, isolating and despairing, the promise remains:

Goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life.

Among the shadows of death is something bigger. His presence remains steadfast, giving us reason to not fear and to trust His leading so that when we emerge from the valley, we will never be the same.

What have you learned in the valley?

2 thoughts on “In the Valley

  1. Shawna says:

    I have learned that in the valley, He is there. Maybe I don’t see Him because of the darkness, but if I remain still long enough, I will feel His gentle brush.

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