Finding Vision in the Valley

Life is filled with ups and downs.  Sometimes it seems we see more valleys than mountain peaks.  More often than not we have been taught in this day and age when trials come, and we feel ourselves descending into a valley, we need to pull ourselves back up and say, “Enough!”

I am determined enough.

I am strong enough.

I am resilient enough.

I am smart enough.

These statements are filled with a ton of “I”‘s — yet when things go wrong or aren’t going right fast enough (there’s that word again), I start to wonder where is God at?  Why is he allowing this to happen to me?  I like to think I am a good person.   A faithful person.   Why isn’t he helping me?  Yet in all of the statements above there is not a single mention of God…

Suddenly my vision is beginning to clear.  God hasn’t left me or forsaken me.  He hasn’t tossed me out into the woods where hungry wolves prowl.  He has been right beside me through thick and thin.

His lack of response is because I have shut him out with my determination to be self-sufficient.  I am the biggest cause of my own separation from the Good Shepherd!

When things in my life have become difficult, trying, or impossible, I have cried out to God but turned deaf ears to him.  Then I would become angry, or feel lost and alone, because I couldn’t feel his presence or hear his voice in my suffering.  All along he has been and is right beside me.  He was, and still is, patiently waiting for me to be still long enough to talk with him and listen to what he has to say to me.  He is waiting to guide me through every valley.

We as a society and culture have done the same exact thing.  We no longer trust in the Good Shepherd to guide us.  Instead we create manmade codes of law and justice, erect walls, and other things of our own invention to fix the bane of humanity.

Problems with addictions

Homelessness

Illnesses.

We believe in the power of therapy and counseling to help determine what we are missing so we can fix ourselves.  We trust in the ability to fix society problems through human agencies.  We look for answers in our doctors and modern medicine to fix maladies.

And when these things let us down we finally ask, where was God in all of this?  How could he allow this to happen?  Why does he let these things continue?  If he truly loved us he would not allow bad things to happen.

He is the last place we are looking to for guidance, care and healing when he should be the first!

How different would our world be if the politicians and people in business were Godly men and women who were actively seeking to hear and be directed by God in both their personal and professional lives?  What if they were leaning on God through the power of prayer and the leading of the Holy Spirit when making decisions that affect the masses?

It all comes back to a personal level.  It starts with me.   To be a Godly woman I need to seek God through prayer.  As often as needed to successfully navigate the road I am on.  Daily, hourly, each and every moment.

God our Father doesn’t want us to be fair weather friends.  He created us to be in community with him. God gave us the ultimate example of what fellowship and relationship should look like.  He sets the example for us with the relationship we see between the Father, His Son, and the Holy Spirit.

God didn’t choose for man to fall, but he also didn’t abandon us.  He has since the dawn of creation desired to be in relationship with all of his children.  Unfortunately  we humans seem to be just as determined to forgo that fellowship with our creator because we are convinced we can do it on our own.

Fortunately God is patient with his wayward children.

Despite our best attempts to go it alone, He still wants an intimate relationship with us so that when the storms of life come we have a secure anchor in him.  He will guide us to safe harbors.

Lean on the Good Shepherd.  He will lead us through the high peaks and through the low valleys.  He will comfort us when we fall. He will protect us always with his staff.  And he will always be there to listen to our cares and give us the best Fatherly advice ever breathed day or night.

God’s grace for us is abundant.  His goodness and mercy will never end.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long. Psalm 23:6 (NRSV)

 

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