“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).
One of the facts of the Christian life, is that, in it we experience both joy and sorrow. The writer of Hebrews tells us that even our Savior, learned obedience through the things that He suffered. The Apostle Peter calls us to prepare ourselves for fiery trials as well.
I often think of Job, who never got to read chapters one and two, where we read a great cosmic conversation between God and Satan, with Job the man in the middle. All Job knew was that one day the roof caved in and floor fell through in every aspect of his life.
Like Job, I believe that Satan is never allowed to touch the life of a believer, except with God’s permission and always for God’s purposes. I thank God for chapter 42 of Job, where see God’s healing and restoration manifested.
Years ago, when I was a youth pastor, the worship leader at our church was a man named Buzz Goertzen. One of the songs that Buzz wrote talked of the valleys that God allows in our lives, valleys with a purpose.
THANK YOU FOR THE VALLEY I WALKED THROUGH TODAY. THE DARKER THE VALLEY THE MORE I LEARN TO PRAY. I FOUND YOU WHERE THE LILIES ARE BLOOMING BY THE WAY. AND I THANK YOU FOR THE VALLEY I WALKED THROUGH TODAY. CHORUS) THANK YOU FOR EVERY HILL I'VE CLIMBED FOR EVERY TIME THE SUN DIDN'T SHINE. THANK YOU FOR EVERY LONELY NIGHT I PRAYED UNTIL I KNEW THAT EVERY THING WAS ALRIGHT. AND I THANK YOU FOR THE VALLEY I WALKED THROUGH TODAY LIFE CAN'T BE ALL SUNSHINE OR THE FLOWERS WOULD DIE. THE OCEAN WOULD TURN TO DESERT ALL BARREN AND DRY. LIFE CAN'T BE ALL BLESSING FOR THERE'D BE NO NEED TO PRAY. SO I THANK YOU FOR THE VALLEY I WALKED THROUGH TODAY.
I don’t know where you are walking today, a valley dark or in the sunlight on the mountain top. But know this, God allows valleys in all of our lives, they shape us, they mold us, they draw us closer to Him. During times in the valley, we are tempted to believe that God has abandoned us. He didn’t abandon Job, He won’t abandon you. Lay the cries of your heart on His doorstep today, trusting that He will never leave you or forsake you, but use this time of testing your life to conform you ever more into the image of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who also experienced the valley of the shadow of death.