In life we will all cross different hills and valleys. Most of us probably much prefer the hills. When we are on top, life is wonderful and things are going well. We have joy and blessings overflowing in our lives.
On the other hand, in the valleys, we might be facing a difficulty that we would rather not face. Instead of joy, we might be suffering in some way. And the pain overshadows the blessings in life.
But if we change our perspective, the valley can also be a beautiful place. In the valley, we have the opportunity to learn, grow, and strengthen our character. Think of Moses who originally felt he was not qualified to lead the Israelites out of Egypt (Exodus 3). But God strengthened him along the way.
In the valley, God might use the obstacle to display His glory and everlasting love. Think about David as he brought down a giant. Goliath was nine feet nine inches tall. Through God’s power, David defeated the giant with a rock and a slingshot (1 Samuel 17).
Also, when we are in a valley, this might be a rich time for strengthening our relationship with Jesus. When we are deep in a pit, this can be the most peaceful time, if we choose to run into the arms of Jesus. Think of Paul and all the trials he faced in his life. Yet while in prison, he wrote in his letter to the Philippians, “I have learned the secret to being content in any and every situation.” (Philippians 4:12)
I am not making light of the valleys. I know life can be extremely painful and challenging at times. I am just saying that God is there to help us through it, if we turn to Him. And Romans 8:28 reminds us “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
We have to make a decision. Will we continue to allow the suffering to torment us? Will we allow the fear to keep us trapped? Will we allow bitterness to hold us hostage? Will we hide from the world?
Or will we run into the arms of Jesus? Will we allow Him to restore us? Will we hand our problems to Him? And will we cling to Him like never before?
In her book Nothing to Prove, Jennie Allen relays how her sister went through some difficulties. She doesn’t give all the details, but it sounds like she hit rock bottom, lost almost everything, and had to start over. Sounds awful, right? But I am awestruck by Jennie’s sister’s response.
She said, “How blessed am I to lose everything all at once? To know that with nothing else on earth, God is enough? For the rest of my life, I will know I only need Him and that He really is that good.” (Taken from Nothing to Prove by Jennie Allen. Copyright © 2017 by Jennie Allen.)
Wow. These words simply amaze me. But she has a solid point. I pray that we don’t have this level of heartache that she did. But I do pray that we all can keep this perspective the next time we face something difficult. We can run into the arms of Jesus and allow Him to be our strength.
I wanted to end with a song. But I couldn’t decide between two. So I will leave you with both. Enjoy!