Valleys are interesting geological formations … without them, we would not have mountains. The low places are what make the high places so outstanding. People photograph them, paint them, write poems about them, and aspire to climb them. And yet, without the valleys, the mountains would not be mountains. The valleys create beauty.
Valleys have a purpose. They have a purpose in nature, and they have a purpose in our lives. Most of us would not choose to be in a valley, and yet, once we are out, we realize some of our closest times with God and the most growth happened during the valley. They become the beauty out of hurt and sadness. Perhaps you have experienced valleys such as losing a job, struggling with a relationship, dealing with being betrayed by a friend, or losing someone you loved. Psalm 23:4 tells us, “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.” How beautiful to know that the God who created the universe cares so much for us that He would walk through the hard places with us. He does not leave us to walk through it alone. In fact, He comforts us as we walk through because of His deep love for each of us.
We never go through a valley without it having a divine purpose. Passing through a valley causes us to draw near to God. It allows us to experience Him on a more intimate level. It allows us to come to Him in raw authenticity, laying our hearts out to Him. And as we lay aside ourselves, He can use that time to make us more like Him. Sometimes He even allows us to go through a valley in order that we would come to Him because it is in the valley that we know we need Him the most. “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.” Isaiah 55:8
If you find yourself in a difficult season, use the opportunity for spiritual growth and allow the difficulties to transform you into the person that God hopes that you will become. Philippians 1:6 says, “being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.” He also reminds us in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” He is God of the mountain and God of the valley. Whether you find yourself on a mountain top, or whether you are in the valley, His presence is everything.
THIS WEEK: A.C.T.
Acknowledge that you are not alone.
Choose faith in your Shepherd over fear in your valley.
Talk to your Shepherd.