Calmly Appreciating Dark Valleys

July 27, 2014

Friends,
If we love the Lord, if we trust in His Name, His Word, and His Promises… if we believe what He says and rely on Him… if we listen to His Spirit, obey Him, and keep our gaze straight on Jesus… then we will walk strong through even the darkest valleys of life. We will walk with peace and confidence. We will walk contented and be willing to wait calmly on our Shepherd, be eager to learn what He is teaching us through it, and be anticipating with joy whatever it is He is taking us to on the other side.

But it’s not merely about what is on the other side. It is also –and very much so– about what is happening within the pain. It’s a lot. And it is wonderful for those who can endure with patience, those who can keep faith, those who can look around and rejoice in the huge blessings God is giving amid the trial, the suffering, the wait.

Then later, when it is all over and we are at rest, and we are fine, and we didn’t die, and life is orderly and normal again, we will not have to look back on the dark valley and wish we had enjoyed it more. For we will have enjoyed it! We will have appreciated each difficult step, and especially because with each one, we felt our Savior’s hands lifting us. We felt His presence in that extra-special way… so tangibly. And what about His precious, beautiful, comforting Voice, and all the priceless Truths we learned from Him? Sure, we’re quite a bit older now, and we have the battle scars, but are we not wiser? Isn’t the immaturity, the quick temper, the self-centeredness almost completely refined out? Hopefully.

So, if we’re facing what looks like another dark valley up ahead, we should not fear or be upset. Instead we should remember… remember all the miracles God performed for us in those valleys of the past… all those immeasurably valuable experiences supplied to us while we journeyed through… all that time of sweet, sweet fellowship with the Awesome God of the universe… and all the unexpected joys He bestowed on us that made the pain pale in comparison.

If we can trust as we’ve been doing, and keep the faith and not be anxious, and remember the great rewards we received by remaining calm and thankful and obedient, then we will approach and step into the next dark valley with peace and joy, savor our walk within it, and watch patiently for God to do wonders. Again.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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