November 23, 2015
Trusting God in the Valleys
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV).
Friend to Friend
The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, deserted island. He prayed fervently for God to rescue him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none came. Exhausted, he eventually built a small hut out of driftwood as a shelter and a place to store his few remaining possessions.
One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke billowing up to the sky. Everything was lost. Stunned with grief and anger, he cried, “God, how could You do this to me?” Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. “How did you know I was here?” the weary man asked. “We saw your smoke signal,” they replied.
God is always at work in our lives, even during our most stress-filled moments. When we entrust everything we are and everything we have to Him, when we depend upon His truth instead of our own understanding and choose to walk in obedience, He promises to “make our paths straight.” No matter how deep the valley, we can count on God for direction. In Proverbs 3:6, “make straight” means “to do right, to make smooth or to be evenly hammered.” I love that truth! I can almost see my Father going before me, the hammer of truth in His hand, flattening every fear-filled obstacle, hammering down every mountain of doubt before me so that, when He has made a way, I can cross over. He straightens out crooked paths, improving my behavior and causing me to do the “right” things.
Valleys are best faced with a total abandonment to the Shepherd of the valley. How many times have we danced with joy on the mountaintop and then moaned and complained in the valley?
God is Lord of the mountain and the valley.
I suspect that the most powerful life is lived in the valley - not on the mountaintop. Every valley is surrounded by mountains. Every valley has a Shepherd, a Shepherd who will walk with us through the valley, and a Shepherd who will go before us, leading us out of the valley. When the psalmist wrote these words, he wrote my life message: “I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand” (Psalm 40:1-2).
No matter where you are today, your Father is there.
No matter how deep or long the valley, He is with you, waiting for you to surrender all.
Give Him your valley, knowing that He will surely lead you out. God has ordained that valley as an altar of sacrifice, an opportunity for Him to work through your broken heart and life.
Keep your glance on the valley and your gaze on the Shepherd. Begin praising Him for your deliverance. It will surely come.
Father, I want to thank You for being my Shepherd. Please teach me how to rest in Your care and trust You no matter how high the mountains or how deep the valleys in my life may be.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
By faith, accept the truth that God is always at work in your life and thank Him for His steadfast provision. Look back over the past few days, weeks and months of your life. Now praise Him for the things He has done.
Read Proverbs 3:5-6. What are the steps listed in this passage that – when taken – will help you walk by faith?
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