“The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.” Nahum 1:7
There are several dear friends going through hard times right now. Everything in me wants to “do” something to help, but truthfully all I can do is pray. What I call “valley times” are hard! I keep thinking of a teaching Floyd’s mom gave on the valleys in our lives. I may have mentioned it last year. She said we have to go through the valleys of difficulty, trial, and preparation in order to reach the mountaintops of release, fulfillment, and provision. In between the mountaintop of God’s promise, and the mountaintop of God’s provision – there is the valley of preparation.
The valleys are often where things are planted and cultivated in our lives. We have to till the ground of our hearts. It sometimes means digging very deep into our lives. But it can be fruitful in the valley, too, as we wait for the mountaintops that God has for us. God uses this time to grow us, and to teach us important life lessons.
There’s no denying the valley times, but it’s not meant to be the focus. God is the focus! He holds our hand as we go through the valley. He doesn’t plan for us to live in it forever. He wants us to grow, to even live above the circumstances as we cling to Him.
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” Psalm 23:4
It feels like I’ve been walking through a valley for a long time now. I’m thinking that surely it’s time to move on to the mountaintop! As I look back I realize that as I’ve been going through the valley, God has been carrying me on His shoulders. I haven’t been alone – or even had to do most of the walking. God has truly “carried” me! And He knows when the right time is to move on to the mountaintop.
There’s a song* that says, “Even in the valley You are faithful – You’re working for our good.” So true! He’s doing beautiful things in our lives while we walk through some of the hard valley experiences. When I look back over the journey, I see God’s hand at work in so many ways. He has been very faithful! I can’t thank Him enough.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid… for the Lord your God goes with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
“For everything there is a season, a time for everything under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
Sometimes as I’m walking through the valley, the vegetation and trees are so thick that I can’t even see the mountaintop God is guiding me towards. I don’t know what’s ahead, but I can trust His direction. Another part of the song I referred to says, “Your plans are still to prosper, You’ve not forgotten us.” I trust His plans!
Thank you for praying us through the valley!
“Father, You are with us in the valley times, no matter how long that journey is. We trust You to bring us safely through. Amen.”