What joy for those whose strength comes from the LORD, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings. They will continue to grow stronger, and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.
I am thinking about words I wrote over the summer and am sharing them here with you. Perhaps they are a repeat, and that’s okay. I believe God’s truths are timeless and timely. Tonight I meditate on “they go from strength to strength in the Lord”, and it has me thinking again. We gather strength when we walk through the valley. We rise up stronger, as we go through the valley. And we become strong. We become without excuse. We become without fear of being our whole selves. There is something about the valley that empowers us to be who we are called to be. It is a place where we slough off the old skin, and we put on the new. I wonder how this pertains to anything we do that is new and a change for us. I wonder if when we go on that interview or do that new thing that stretches us, are we walking in the valley?
Things look different and feel different. Our expectations might even hit a wall. Perhaps that wall is not a wall but rather an invitation to see and think differently. Maybe it is a divine invitation to see ourselves through God’s perspective. It may not look like the valley we were expecting, but what if those valley places – are place for us to see again what God has done in us? A place for us to live redeemed. A place for us to step into purpose and identity.
Perhaps valleys are less about internal suffering and discomfort and more about the fleshing out of Kingdom identity. They go from strength to strength. The journey toward God brings relationship and healing and wholeness. The journey isn’t perfect but we are being perfected s as we go. What we thought we could not overcome we find we could overcome. The person He was called us to be becomes more us and we find we can be our most divine and authentic self.
What if those are places where we gain strength and we learn to be strong in the Lord and the power of his might? What if those are the places where we learn to stand firm and founded in Christ? What if those are the places where we learned to see that we are not as weak as we thought we were? The Valley is a place to pass through. It is not a final destination. As we go and work through life and hold on to faith, we are refined. We leave the desert an oasis burgeoning in our soul. We do not leave barren. We leave refreshed. So tonight I affirm that God is with me in valley and shadow. He is with me in sunshine and rain. I choose to believe I will see His goodness in the land of the living.
This is day 1 of my 31 Days of Affirmation. In this series I’ll affirm hope, faith, truth, and encouragement even when life is troubling. Particularly the series ponders what it means to hold on to those things that are good, right, noble, honorable, true, and lovely even when life isn’t so pretty. This means, at least for me, I need to engage and practice and activate my faith as I believe it bolsters my hope. I do this by affirming truth even in the storm. You can read all the series post here. I hope you’ll be encouraged.