The 23rd Psalm has been a source of strength when facing trial and tribulation. The strong affirmation of faith expressed in this “song of trust” has driven away feelings of grief, sadness, and doubt and turned them to feelings of peace, contentment and trust. It’s in the valley that we know the extent of God’s love for us. It’s in the valley that He protects and cares for us. It’s from the valley that He leads us into His presence.
Psalm 23:1-6 (NLT)1 The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need.2 He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.3 He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.5 You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.
The view from the mountain top is spectacular but growth takes place in the valley
God has not stopped being God because you are in the valley. He has not stopped being a God of goodness and kindness because you are either disappointed or have a broken heart.
We would all love to spend our lives on the top of a mountain. We would all love to vigorously breathe in that fresh mountain air and take in the magnificent view. You can see things on the mountaintop that you would never see from the valley. Things take on their rightful perspective from the mountaintop. You are literally on top of the world. It's a place fit for a queen - the queen of the mountain!
None of us wants to buy real estate in the valley of despair and disappointment. There is an extremely limited vision in the lower places and you are not able to see beyond the next grove of trees.
And yet it is in the valley where vegetation grows and where flowers bloom. There is no growth on the top of a mountain but you will only find rocks and boulders there. The top of a mountain is no place to put down roots - that happens in the valley below. It is in the valley where the most magnificent growth of your life will happen and it is there that the fruit of the Spirit will grow in lush abundance. May I just say it this way: In the valley where your heart was broken will be the place of your greatest harvest.
God wants our cups to run over not only when life is good and the view is spectacular; He wants our cups to run over in the valley of pain and in the desert of brokenness. God sets before you a table of blessing that will heal your broken heart and feed your hungry soul.
God wants you to be a man or a woman who knows that disappointment does not have the power to dis-appoint you. God wants you to be a person who snuggles into His presence during times of brokenness and despair. God wants you to be a Christian who never blames but always blesses. God wants you to be a believer who bears fruit at the worst moment of life. - From Holy Emotions: Biblical Responses to Every Challenge by Carol McLeod
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Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.