I walked down by the creek across the bed of rocks in the valley down the hill an away from our house. The bed rocks have been pushed into a pile below in this ditch right next to the water. It was beautiful down there peaceful and a nice place to get away when you want to hear the waters moving.
The day I walked down there the water was lower, and it seemed to be getting lower every year. The dry air of suffocating in the 100-degree heat. I want to go play in the water a lot as a child like most children do. I kept walking with eyes on the rocks before me to keep watch for things that slither. Snakes common in the area. Before I knew it a giant black snake slithered out of the grass in the field and was in my path on the rocks.
I stopped frozen in fear, in a time before cell phones, and no one within shouting distance. Two more steps and I would have been stepping on it. The snake stopped looked at me and hissed I started to lunge toward me. I thought for sure I was done for and it would bite me, but I couldn’t move even if I wanted to. To my surprise, the snake continued on into the creek and started to swim in the direction I was head as well. I quickly turned and ran as hard as I could back to the road crying and shaking.
Fear had stopped me in a critical moment in my life while I stood in a valley. I was running in the opposite direction that I wanted to go because of fear.
I wonder how many times God has been with me in those moments when I ran out of fear in the opposite directions of the path He was leading me down. The truth was God was always there and still is. In that valley much like the rest of my life, I felt like I was alone. There was no bombing presence of God in my area at all, and everything was silent. In the valley, I was looking down at my circumstances instead of up to my Jesus.
It was easy for me to get discouraged in the valleys of my life when God was not in my life. Yes, I have had more the one, and I think we continue to have those moments no matter what the circumstances are in our lives. Perhaps a valley moment starts with a death, divorce, or destruction. It could even start with just a series of ordinary life events that seems to not be going right.
This last month was a valley moment for me many times. I had the goal of writing my novel and so many things started happening. I had headaches, rashes, nightmares, and I fell multiple times doing ordinary things. I lost members of my family. I was taken through a week of everyday things gone wrong. I did not despair, but I was still down.
How would I handle this valley?
Would it better than before?
Would I get mad and yell?
Would I be quiet and cry?
Would I turn to my Father in heaven?
I am sad to say I did get mad and yell sometimes. I was crying a lot too, but I also turned to my Father in the middle of my messy valley moment. It was easier to turn to God this time than the last time this happened to me. I am getting stronger in my faith and focus on Jesus. I kept praying even though each day did not seem to reach better results. I kept praying and pushing into God’s promises for me. I had to keep walking in my valley until I reached a new level of surrender to God.
In the valley, there is still joy, peace, and forgiveness. A valley is a place to find God and to seek His face. It reminds me there is so much more work to be done in me.
Keep walking through your valley.