We all go through valleys in life. No one wants to because being in a valley isn’t fun, sometimes it doesn’t even seem fair. Maybe you’re obediently and faithfully following God. You expect to be prospering and succeeding, right? But instead, God is leading you through a valley. King David said in Psalm 23:4
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff,
they comfort me.
We need to remember not to be afraid when we walk through the valley. A valley is usually a place of confusion, frustration, irritation, and yes, fear. We don’t know what God’s doing. We don’t understand why we need to go through this, why God isn’t delivering us from it. Sometimes we think we’ve done something wrong, that maybe we deserve to be in the valley even though deep down we know we’ve been faithful.
God tells us 365 times in His Word, one time for each day of the year, not to be afraid. One of my favorite verses and one that I repeat anytime I feel afraid is Psalm 27:1
The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
King David was assuring himself, and us, that we aren’t alone when we walk through the valley. God is always with us! He comforts us with His rod and staff. If you check out the book “A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23” written by a former shepherd, Philip Keller, he explains that the rod is used to defend the sheep from predators and the staff is used to guide the sheep in the direction the shepherd wants them to go.
What a beautiful picture of how God is the Shepherd of our lives! When we’re in our darkest valley God is still there with us. He is leading us with His staff so that we walk the path of righteousness and don’t veer off course, and He defends us with His rod keeping the enemy at bay.
We may not like the valleys of life but it is in the valley that we grow. Not only do we mature and develop spiritually, emotionally, and mentally, but we grow closer to the Lord God because it is in our valleys that we need Him the most.
I want to encourage you, my dear reader, to trust God in the valley. It won’t last forever and He will bring you out of it in His timing. But you aren’t alone in it either. God is there with you protecting and guiding you every step of the way.
I love you guys and pray that you have an awesome weekend!