Walking through a deep and dark valley can be a learning curve. So many of us are going through many ‘valleys’, of many different kinds. Take your pick. Mine is really no different from yours. A trial is a trial is a trial, and each of us are given the measure of grace to deal with what faces us at every moment.
I think that there are treasures to be gleaned in our darkness, if we will look for them. Hosea says that God will give the valley of Achor (which means ‘trouble’) as a door of hope to his people. The very lion that sought to kill Samson provided the framework for the sweet honey that sustained him later on. It can be the same for us as we fight the lions in our paths and overcome them. We can learn to squeeze honey out of the rocky, confined, troubled places in our lives. (Deut 32:13, Psalm 81:16)
So, I am learning things I didn’t know. Treasures, nuggets, wonderful truths. Many of these are just at the beginning stages and I would not even know to articulate them.
But here are some:
- Prayer isn’t just pie-in-the-sky. I used to be a little sceptical when people said they could feel the prayers of others carrying them. Now I know it to be an absolute truth in my life. I have felt it for myself.
- I have said it already. There are so many different kinds of troubles that people face, and mine is only one of them. Your troubles really are no less to you than mine is to me. For you, it might be unthinkable to be where I am now. But because this is where I am, this is where my provision of grace is. God is faithful that way. He meets us where we are at and is precious enough to give us what we need to face the next minute, hour, day. We can make it through anything, if God is with us…and he is.
- I couldn’t say this with absolute certainty in the first shell-shocked weeks following Jenna’s passing, but I think I can say it now…there is a fellowship with Jesus in our suffering that goes deeper than what we would have experienced had life remained peaceful and simple and calm.
- Walking a hard and painful road opens you up and gives you a heart for others that are hurting. I am grateful for that, because I can always do with a little bit less self-centeredness in my life.
- As a body of believers, we need each other. I would not have made it thus far without people ministering to me, praying for me, or giving hugs and listening ears. And as I am being comforted by the Lord through his people, I am learning in turn how to be a comforter and how to pour out that same comfort on others.
- My life-changing event has made me re-evaluate who I am, where I am going, what life is about. I have had a change of focus from the here-and-now to the eternal. I am hoping that it will teach me to live my life on purpose, to choose well, to make Jesus and Jenna proud. I don’t want to take anything or anyone for granted. I really want to step into everything Jesus has for me. All. of. it. I have nothing to lose…