Monday, October 20, 2008

The Valley

Yesterday was a hard day. Several of my friends were hurting yesterday from various difficulties, but each time I heard of a new one, my heart hurt that much more. Relationships shattered, the death of a child, the last stages of cancer, a premature baby, a husband at my heart ached for each one. I cried so much yesterday my eyes hurt. I don't think it was coincidence that Bro. Rick's sermon yesterday was titled "The Valley."

One of the main points of his message yesterday was when he talked about Joshua. God had told Joshua to "be strong and courageous" no less than four times. God told him that He would be with him wherever He told him to go. Bro. Rick pointed out that the correct translation for the word "strong" used here was not the normal, muscle bound strength we usually think of. Here, God used "strong" meaning "fasten upon." How interesting that God would use that particular word.

What do you "fasten upon" when you are going through the valley? When life seems to be drowning you in sorrow? I clearly remember the numbing pain when I found out I might lose my sweet Kiddo when I was only 23 weeks pregnant. I left the doctor's office murmuring under my breath, "God knows about this, He has allowed this, and He has limited this!" Meaning that God was in control of the child I carried, and if He chose to take him home, it didn't mean He was no longer in control. For the next three months I fought with my emotions, wanting to argue that it wasn't supposed to be this way, but every time I came back to the same conclusion...God knew the big picture, and I didn't.

The times that Sweet Husband has lost a job, I again wanted to argue that life wasn't supposed to happen like that. God sweetly reminded me again and again that the same God that brought my precious baby safely into the world could handle a job loss. He wanted us to be faithful to Him. And He was faithful to us. Every. Single. Time.

If you are facing the valley, I pray that you draw strength from the One who loves you so much. Fasten your heart to Him. He will never leave your side.

Oh, and by the way...Joshua's valley? It was right after Moses's death that Joshua and the children of Israel followed God's instructions (after grieving for Moses for a time, mind you) and won the biggest battle they had ever fought...Jericho. The encouragement Bro. Rick gave us yesterday was to remind us that God can use that valley to draw us into a time where He wants to show us His glory. Like when I gave birth to a healthy, full term baby. Or when the job that we didn't think could happen actually happened.

He is a good God...we can trust Him!


Heather said...

so true Heather...
in the valley mere words often fail - tears and prayers, listening and loving - are the dialect you find in the valleys.

... in the valley everything often appears darker
... your own heart can feel colder
... the Lord can seem further
... hopeless can creep closer

may the Lord's presence surround each of these ... may they each find the the sweet fruit of his grace hidden in their valley ...

~Jer 33:3

Mrs. Trixi said...

You are so right. He wants us to trust Him in all things, not just the good times. When my honey was in Iraq for 18 months, I was truly tested on whether or not I was going to trust that God has our best in mind. I clung to 1 Cor. 10:13 for dear life. God never left my side. Thank you for this reminder.

Blissful Nikki said...

wow! that was beautiful. thank you for sharing your heart and your life. I know that sometimes its really hard to see God for who he is when we are in the valley, but a good friend once told me that when youa re in a difficult situation, that He is the SAME God he was just before that situation happened! :)

Darlene said...

That was beautiful...thanks so much for sharing that.

~Trish~ said...

Very nice post :) Thank you for stopping by my Kansas blog today!

The Pink Potpourri said...

GREAT post. thank you so much for the wonderful reminder. even as christians, there are trials. God is with us every step of the way, even if we sometimes feel alone. For me, he is my strength in the good times and the horrible times!