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At The Valley’s Edge

Psalm 27 Psalm 23

Lately, God has been speaking to me about the journey we all walk through in life. For the believer, He has shown me it works in a cyclical pattern. We have times of rest, times of knowledge and understanding and times of testing. Over the summer, it was clear that God had me in a season of knowledge and understanding. He opened my mind and my heart to knew ways of thinking and began to transform them. Now, he has laid heavy on my heart about the inevitable valley.

God has led me to edge of the valley. As I look in on the uncertainties of life, I can feel fear knocking on my heart. I can already feel the pressure of the darkness beginning to weigh in. In my heart of hearts, I do not want to walk across this valley. However, the God I know tells me it is for my good. He has purposed this valley. It is for me to grow in my spiritual maturity. It is a time of testing the knowledge he has already given me about himself and to turn it into wisdom. He has promised me he will guide me and he will never forsake me. In the valley, is where I will meet my God face to face. I will see his power made great in my weakness and his grace will be sufficient. In this shadowy place, I will be confronted with the weakness that lies deep in my heart and I will either trust the Lord and be changed or I will flounder and remain the same. I want to run away from this place but in doing so is running away from God. The Lord tells me be strong and courageous do not be afraid for I am with you. I don’t know all that lies before me. I don’t know how dark it will be but I do know my God will not leave me. I know he has been preparing me. I know he is faithful to do all he says he will do. I know there is nothing outside of his control and I know my God loves me. I can walk confidently in him who has placed his spirit within me.

We can not prevent these times in the valley. We can choose to try to run or escape them learning nothing from them or we can go through it actively trusting the Lord so that we may grow spiritually and see Him in an a more intimate way. For those who have built their lives on the firm foundation of Christ, the valley is a storm that tests your roots. The storm will push and press you but you will be be unmoved in your faith in Christ and will have grown from the down poor. If you placed your trust in yourself or others, when the storm hits, you will be pulled up and laid low but even in the devastating winds and impacts you can cry out to the Lord and he will come near.

How will you choose to walk in the valley?

Lessons

Finding Purpose In The Fire

Jeremiah 18:1-12

Sometimes, God leads us into seasons of life with situations and circumstances that drive us to confront emotions we might try to bury otherwise. I find myself in one of these seasons. In this season, anger and frustration drives me to my knees in front of the Lord almighty. At times, I try to squelch my emotions buy burying them and holding my tongue but this is not what the Lord desires. It is not self control but avoidance of confrontation. If I bury what the Lord uses to draw me near to Him I only bring destruction on myself from within. Knowing I am powerless in my situation, I seek after the one who has all the power. He causes me to confront Him with my big emotions. He draws out of me what is really going on in my heart and brings it to the surface. I hate it but I am grateful for it. It is painful but yet it is comforting. At times though, I fight against the pressure of His mighty hand and I cry out why must you keep me here but He reminds me it is for my good. For if there was no kneading of the clay, a pot could not be formed and I would remain a useless lump.

I do not enjoy the pains of the kiln burning away my impurities. I do not delight in the pain of the surrounding pressure of life in order to drive me to the Lord but I am thankful. I can find joy in my sufferings because it is not a waste in the hands of the almighty. He forms life out of death, creation from nothingness. He uses these emotions to cultivate a heart and mind aligned with his by drawing out what hinders me. It is a comfort to know, that my God is bigger than my situations and my emotions. It is humbling to be reminded that He is more concerned with my holiness than my happiness.

Supporting Scripture

“Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭64:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

‭‭James‬ ‭1:2-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬