Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death


from Blue Pueblo

from Blue Pueblo

Pain brings change.

EcoGreen...1

from EcoGreen

I am so resistant to change that I leave God no other option but to let me go through difficult circumstances to bring me where He wants me. I’m screaming bloody murder the whole way. Then, when I find myself in His blessing, I smile and say, “Oh, this is where You were bringing me!” The pain dissipates; pleasure fills my heart.

It’s okay to be down now. Maybe you’ve lost everything… your house, your family, your ministry. Don’t drink to

from Flojohn Travels

from Flojohn Travels

forget. Keep slogging through the Dark Valley. On the other side, you will come out into Wonderland. Life goes by cycles; you can’t always be on top of the world; you won’t always be on the bottom.

After a valley in his life, Mike Lynch says, "I never want to go through that again, and I wouldn't wish that on anybody, but actually it's made me what I am today."

After a valley in his life, Mike Lynch says, “I never want to go through THAT again, and I wouldn’t wish that on anybody, but actually it’s made me what I am today.”

Believe in yourself. Believe in God. After the war comes  rebuilding and  prosperity. As one blogger says: Become better, not bitter. Current circumstances could drown you, or you could learn to swim. Tread water long enough in the Noah-like flood, and you’ll win a gold medal at the Olympics.

Incrementally improve. When the blessing hits, it will come suddenly, but it will have been through incremental improvements.

44 responses to “Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death

  1. I have been there so many times, you would think I would know better by now! Here is the link to my great-grandmother’s faith story. Strange title, I know, but you will understand when you begin reading. Feel free to use all or only the parts that would fit well on your blog. Wishing you a great day.
    http://barbarastanley.net/2013/02/20/children-are-you-raising-mass-murderers-and-serial-killers/#respond

  2. that is why instant gratification does not strengthen anything. Just satisfying the crave and that’s it. Pain brings change, indeed.

  3. This is an interesting post. I find much to take away from your post, but also more needed. Life is not to me about the ups and downs as it is about the steady pace in those ups and downs. I lost that ability with health issues. Building it back up I see small windows of opportunity and me putting my fingers through to squeak it open just alittle more. I am not changing though. I do not know how to change any more. I will let God change me if He so desires. It just isn’t my ability anylonger…keep up the good work.

  4. So true. Remember those aching legs growing up? Momma said, “don’t worry, honey. You’re just growing.” God doesn’t belittle our pain – Ps. 56 tells us that He captures our tears in his bottle – but He has a purpose for it. A beautiful, devine purpose.

  5. Pain is a great catalyst, whether we like it or not!

  6. I LOVE this post. So very true and inspiring to me. I’m in the valley right now, and I really needed this encouragement. Thank you for the wise perspective…

  7. When I was a little girl, I thought “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” meant that the Lord was a Shepherd that he didn’t have having push him around.

    Now I wonder, how can there be free will and still have God involved? If he has a plan are we free? If he knows how each of us will chose and his plan compensates for our failures in his plan, than how is that not a fated destiny? Again, if we are truly free, than how can he have a plan? And How can he have a plan if we are truly free?

    Sometimes I wish to be that little girl again with a scrunched up face wondering why anyone would ever question how lucky they are that the Lord wanted to be their Shepherd. Other times I think if THIS is his plan? Wow, God’s a kid with a magnifying glass and we are the ant farm.

    But all these questions come from a place of arrogance, a place that assumes I have the capacity to understand the complexity of God and his incomprehensible divinity. Maybe when I accept that I am not the superior intelligence in the universe I will be free to stop worrying so much, and be free from fear, free from stress, free from ME. What is it to be free anyway?

    This world, broken as it is, is not mine to fix, yet I cannot free myself from the desire to fix it. I suppose I wont be able to understand God and the freewill he gave me, if I can’t even understand what it means to be truly free.

    • These are profound questions. At some point, they are also questions that are logical knots that become pointless to pursue too much, like the theoretical question: what happens when an unopposeable force meets an immovable object? They tease the brain but cannot be answered with our finite language. There are many more such difficult questions. When I went to seminary, I had a lot of questions. When I got out of seminary, I had fewer. But I am not free from questions. I am not bothered enough about them to leave faith. The fact that there are difficult questions and logical difficulties is not a reason to become an atheist. It is valuable to ask these questions but not enough to leave God. After all, they are just questions of words and thinking patterns of Westerners, which we would be foolish to think are infinite. What is freedom? A very good question. I suggest you ask God to experience it rather than trying to define it. Hope this helps! I certainly appreciate all your comments here.

  8. ‘Incremental improvement’ is a nice word!

  9. Our pressing place I called it. Kind a like God do you have to do this? but then again, oh boy, thanks for your grace.

  10. Thank you for the encouragement! God bless you!

  11. This was just what I needed to see today, thank you for such a hopeful and inspiring post. Also the reminder of how we look back and say “Oh! This is where you were bringing me!” I have said that many times over the past 3 years and sure I will say it again and again. Your blog is always good, keep it up! and God bless you 🙂

  12. I love this post. It contains such wonderful and true words! As for me I am swimming towards the medal and am confident that I`ll reach it soon. Thank you very much for sharing!

  13. What an absolutely beautiful Truth! What a gift God gave you. I wrote a post once about “Broken Bones Mending Stronger” until it’s time to stand alone again. I wouldn’t want to go through the hardships of my life again, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything either!

    By the way, that Fljohns Travel photo looks like a Howard Behrens painting. Gorgeous. Thank you for your inspiration.

  14. Had I never know the trials and tribulations living in the shadow of my own death. How could I have experienced the beauty of rebirth, joy and unconditional love.
    Tribulations and trails are just tests sent by the lord to see what we are truly able to accomplish in times of great challenges.

    I listen to spirit and am guided to the beauty of heaven on a trying and challenging earth.

    Namaste

  15. First I’d like to thank you for the times you’ve visited my blog and shared your likes. I truly appreciate it.

    I must say I’m so glad I finally got a chance to visit your blog and read some of your incredible, though-provoking posts. I love this post! It hits home in so many ways; personally, spiritually, and mentally.

    Yes, you are absolutely correct when you say, “Life goes by cycles.” And I agree. Yet, what I found after going deep in the valley for years is that I would not allow nothing to shake my belief in God, no matter how hard it was. I may have faltered in my faith from time to time when allowing circumstances to cloud my judgment, but based on evidence of things I didn’t see, I knew God was with me every step of the way. Change is evident. But it’s what we do with or how we handle it that will make the difference. With God, all things are possible. 🙂

    Thank you so much for this post. It was the right words at the right time for me. Be blessed!

  16. There may be pain in the night but joy comes in the morning.God’s love never fails.Thank you for this post. I need that encouragement.Godbless!

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