"...and came unto the valley...and searched it out."
In my mind I can see a little girl running through a waist-high field of grass, her red hair blowing in the breeze, as she makes her way toward...somewhere - Little House on the Prairie re-runs. Don't we just love the old classics?
And there I sat in the darkness, puddles of fresh tears made tiny ponds in the carpet and the pile of wadded-up tissue surrounded me like a miniature mountain-scape scene - my very own rerun. My heart felt desperately heavy, my mind sort of dazed and confused as my faith weakly wavered a bit. Yet, there I sat, at the feet of the only One whom I knew could satisfy my soul and faithfully lead me out of this valley and make me whole.
I've learned that sometimes the Lord takes us through deep valleys to teach us more about Him, about ourselves and about things in our lives which may need attention. I've been in those types of valleys and have learned to embrace those experiences knowing that I must be "tried" in order to come forth as gold. (Job 23:10) Some valleys shape (to give a particular form) me.
Then there are times when He takes me through certain valleys again...it seems kind of like an old re-run. I've already walked this valley before, learned valuable lessons and God brought me through. And...here I go again. "What?! Seriously?! A re-run? Now? Why?" These re-run valleys hone (to make more acute, intense or effective) me.
I know the Lord is a good Shepherd though and He always knows best for me. This valley is a refresher course, I know what it's all about, that it won't be as intense as last time, but I find there is more I must glean from this valley than I could handle the first time through. You see, my Shepherd knows how much is sufficient for me in one dose.I must trust and rely solely upon Him.
You've probably been there-done that and even muttered those same words to yourself during one of your own low times, "I should be over this. This is old news. Why is it affecting me so?" You might not care for re-runs either, but God always knows best. His desire is to bring us out of every valley and place us back upon the mountain, but as my pastor puts it, "We can't live on the mountain-top." Not many things grow on top of the mountain, that includes you and I, but there's always growth in the valley.
I suppose in all reality, we should sit back and relax during these particular times - trusting our Shepherd to keep us. Don't fret. Let's pick up on what we didn't before and travel on. It's comforting to know that we don't have to STAY in this valley. Yet, He knows what is best for our good, where we will be restored most completely, and just the right time to bring us through with good fruit to show forth.
Yes...there IS a purpose for this valley. We're going...somewhere. And while I wouldn't want to watch Little House re-runs every day...this particular "re-run" is going to be a classic!
help us to be willing to move from the mountain top,
and into the valley below and search out the good things you have
for us to glean there. Help us to look at our valleys
as "good land", where we can grow in grace
and gather all the good fruit we can.
For your glory and honor.