Monday, March 7, 2011

A Word About Valleys

Dear Reader,
A valley is a low spot in the land, and we often liken the sad times in our lives to valleys. Psalm 23:4 refers to the “valley of the shadow of death,” and that certainly pictures a dark, narrow pathway walled in by steep cliffs. In the news headlines we hear of valleys filled with springtime floods and mudslides. Sometimes as a widow, I wondered if my walk through the valley would ever end.

But I learned valleys are filled with far more than shadows and danger from floods. They provide rich, fertile soil for growing, level ground for building, a sheltered climate, unique ecosystems, and breathtaking views of the mountains. Some valleys wind their way between insurmountable mountains and give us passage.

Likewise, there are good features about valleys of the soul. Meaning, empathy and compassion sprout in the deep furrows of grief. Fresh insights into the sufferings of Christ spring up, as well as more appreciation for the little gifts of life—sunshine coming out from behind a cloud, the song of a bird after a rainstorm, or a valiant dandelion blooming out from a crack in a sidewalk. We understand those things now: times, seasons and tenacity. Memories in the valley teach us the importance of kindness and patience. A daily routine becomes a comforting commodity.

If you are in a valley of grief I hope your heart will accept the new time of growth, the insights and precious perspectives you can gain. Remember, a valley can be the best, sometimes the only, way to get around a mountain. You won’t be in it forever, dear one. In spite of the hardships, many good things can happen in a valley.

Check back here daily. Tomorrow will be single living tips; on Wednesday, a widow's story; Thursday highlights a resource; then a silly smile on Friday, and rest for your soul on Saturday. Let's walk through this valley together.

Our Father in Heaven, Grant us level paths through this valley, and may your Word be a light for our feet. In Jesus name, Amen.


  1. My Dad was the first of my parents to die, and this time in my life was probably the first "valley". When I was flying to Phx to visit him in Hospice for what turned out to be the last time, I was carrying a Christian magazine with me, one I had just received in the mail the previous day and had not yet read. The main story in it, the one I read on the plane, centered around Isaiah 40. The message was sent by God directly to me:
    "The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
    29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
    30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
    31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

    This verse has been my anchor in all the subsequent valleys in my life. It has literally allowed me to sleep peacefully at night.

  2. The valley seems so deep.I can put a smile on my face for others,but when alone the pain is almost unbearable at times.

  3. Kelly, the Lord's truly given you strength and hope through His wonderful Word.Thank you for the encouragement of God's comfort and showing how He has moved in your life. It reminds me of 2 Cor.1:4-7.

  4. Dear Ruth, I'm so sorry your valley is feeling so dark and lonely right now. I wish I could fly like a bird to be with you, and I know, as you do, that the Lord's heart is moved with compassion to you. You are loved and not abandoned. You will again see the Lord's goodness in the land of the living--that's one of God promises that I know you can count on. hugs and prayers, fbh

  5. Ruth, I will continue to pray that Jesus will continue to comfort you, especially in your alone time. Like Ferree, I too wish I could be there with you to offer in-person encouragement.

    Ferree - thank you for that verse! I have highlighted it in my Bible.


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