Most of us do not want valleys in our lives. We shrink from them with a sense of fear and foreboding. Yet in spite of our worst misgivings, God can bring great benefit and lasting benediction to others through those valleys. Let us not always try to avoid the dark things, the distressing days. They may well prove to be the way of greatest refreshment to ourselves and those around us. – Phillip Keller
You are passing through your valley. And no one knows. No one. Not your spouse. Nor your children. Not the smiling folks you mingle and joke with at work. Nor the fancy and shabby blend of men and women sitting in front of you and behind you at church on Sunday.
Walking through the valley is trying enough in itself. The scorching dryness bearing down, forcing your steps to be small, if you take steps forward at all. You try, because you know it’s your only way out. Moving forward. But every step sends pain shooting through your limbs and straight into your heart. The void of green and beauty weathers into your soul and you wonder if ever the world had color. The valley is trying.
But the aloneness is tragedy. No warming voice or soothing words casting a light of reason upon your questions. No steadying hand to catch you when you fall or hoist you to your tired feet again.
Your reasons for trudging the valley alone in spite of the world-full of people around you? Those reasons are yours alone. Just as the valley you walk in. No one could understand. I would be labeled. I could never find forgiveness. They don’t really care, otherwise someone would have noticed; would have said something.
There was one who walked the rugged path of a valley alone, in spite of the crowds that swarmed him so frequently. He was alone because there was something only he could do. A path only he could take. A cross only he could bear.
And because he did it, finished the task given him, accomplished the purpose set before him, there is something only he can promise.
He is with you. You are not alone. Or you do not have to be. His presence is more real, more present, than any other human. For he is the God-yet-man. The Son of Man who came to seek and save that which is lost. The Good Shepherd who seeks out the one that did not make it no matter if ninety-nine are safe in the fold.
He scours the desert and his footfalls sound against the caverns of every lonely, forsaken valley. His voice is true. His scar-rifted hand is steady. His heart that bled for you is pure. His promise: “I am with you always … I will never leave you nor forsake you … He that comes to me, I will in no way cast out.”
Even in the valley. Especially in the valley.