“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)
Have you ever been in a valley of despair? Our disappointments, regrets, and unmet expectations reside in the valley. Sometimes it may take a while to climb out of it, and sometimes we can even find ourselves getting tired of the journey. The valley experience maybe wasn’t what we anticipated when we began our Christian journey. We may have expected hard days, but not difficult years that a valley may bring ….
Yet, the valley experience will develop us into being more like Jesus Christ. It will help us with persevering under difficulty, overcoming sin, and depending completely on God. We may not immediately recognize our spiritual growth, but it will be evident to those in our homes, schools, workplaces, and those around us on a daily basis.
If we learn to worship God, and praise Him even in the valley, our hearts begin to understand the joy that can be found in the midst of difficulties … If we learn to pray in the valley, our prayers become more discerning and powerful …. If we learn to know God’s Word in the valley, our minds are well fortified against the attacks of the devil …. If we learn to serve others in the valley, we immediately recognize that we aren’t the only ones hurting and that there are often people much worse off than us ….
The valley experience isn’t for everyone. Many believers choose the easier, softer way; the easier path of living a surface Christianity that minimally requires church attendance, infrequent Bible readings, very little servitude, and hurried prayers. Yet, for those who are willing to go deeper in Christ to experience His amazing presence, the valley experience will be the toughest, yet most rewarding part of their life. God is faithful and gracious on the mountain and in the valley; and our mountain top triumphs are even more celebrated when we remember where we’ve come from in the valley …..
Dear Lord, my valley experience is only worth it if You are with me. Help me to honor You at all times; whether high on the mountain, or deep in the valley, and I ask that You would help me persevere through this season of my life and I will give You the glory now and forever more. In Jesus’ name, Amen ….