We all go through valleys in life. The rain falls on the just and the unjust after all. We don’t get out of this life unscathed, but hopefully, we grow in the process. I don’t know if any of you have ever felt without hope, but it is the worst experience of my life. To feel like I’m useless to God and not know what my purpose is has taken a part of my soul. Even when you’re in it, you know it’s a lie of Satan. And we know what they say, when you’re walking through the valley, keep on walking.
Believe it or not, I’m naturally an upbeat person, but when my spirit was crushed, I was surrounded by the kind of Christians who were like Job’s friends. They told me I deserved the punishment. That it was a natural consequence. If only I’d done this, or said that…
Looking back, I know that wasn’t true. Here’s the thing. When you are in the valley and things look really bleak? You want real Christian friends who will surround you and walk with you. They won’t lie to you to make you feel better, but they won’t beat you when you’re down either. Some acted as if they were immune to such a terrible fate as though they were more righteous and immune from troubles. The truth is, we all deserve death. We’re only saved by His grace, not our own works.
People rarely know the whole situation when you’re in a bad place, so take that into account when you’re feeling hopeless. (Is this person giving me bad advice aware of the whole story?) We are Christians, but we are human too and so we will suffer. Being a Christian doesn’t mean sweeping our pain under the rug as if it never happened. When we don’t deal with our emotions, they don’t go away. Things get more uncomfortable until we deal with the truth.
If God was done with you here on earth, He’d take you up with Him. If you’re still here, then you’re supposed to be. Your situation is meant to grow you as a human being. Ask yourself what you’ve learned in your situation. What lessons have you conquered that you can help the next person going through it?
When darkness seems relentless, I try to remember that Paul had to study for 11 years just to be fit to preach. He had to be locked in a prison and his extreme knowledge of Judaism was nearly unnecessary since he’d been called to speak to the Gentiles. Paul had one plan for his ministry, but God had another. Could that be your situation?
God loves us. He gave up His Son for us. He doesn’t want you to hurt but He is there if you do. Let those with the gift of compassion hear your story and help you walk out of the valley. Patch that hole up. If you have to scream it out with God, go ahead. He can handle it. If your hope has a hole in it, stay away from smug religious types who want to tell you that you shouldn’t feel a certain way. Feelings can’t be helped. They are your truth. Acting on them is a different story.
If your hope is all patched up and pretty, go help patch a friend’s today.