Walking Through the Valley
We set off to find the hiking trail described as breathtakingly beautiful! From a 4000 foot mountaintop in NC we went down. Winding roads were making me carsick and I wondered why we were leaving our view from the top of the mountain for this!
Traveling on gravel roads, we made our way deep into dense woods. The foliage was like nothing on top of the mountain; it was filled with wild ivy and exotic flowers. The woods were teaming with wildlife. It was cool and the sounds peaceful. The wonder of God's creation came into sight when we saw the Chattooga River with its white waters gushing over aged rocks. That day I witnessed beauty in the valley and it has forever changed my perspective!
View from the Valley - For the past 10 months I have been wandering in what I viewed as a desolate valley. My life has been marked by mourning the death of my precious dad and my oldest moving away to college. My darkest moment came when depression hit my 18 year old daughter. The pain has almost been too much for me to bear. My view from this valley has been dark, lonely, and sad!
Voices in the Valley -- Scripture gives us many descriptions of the valley. From Genesis to John these are some words describing the bleakness in the valley: Wars waged there, pits, slaughter, dark, dead bodies, and dried bones. That is pretty bleak and depressing if we only see it from this perspective.
Scripture also gives us these descriptive words of the beauty in the valley: Fruit trees grow, flowing streams, battles won, victory, a resting place, God fills it with pools of water, the Alter of the Lord is there, sweet soil, visions, the Lord rises up here, and a place of hope. My personal favorite - Jesus crossed the valley to enter into the garden where He invited His disciples!
Victory in the Valley -- Viewing both the desolation and beauty in scripture, I knew my perspective needed to change! We cannot always live on mountaintops. We will ALL go through valleys in our lives. If you are in a valley of despair, I pray that God will enable you to see the situation with a different perspective, His beauty for ashes.
Filtering my situations through the lens of God's perspective I now see:
- My Dad in his resting place, home, free of pain and sickness
- The blessings of a son thriving and happy in his new surroundings
- God at work as He transforms His little girl through the illness of depression into the beautiful woman He created
A valley walk can take you to quiet resting spots; it can slow you down to see the beauty of every day and count its blessings. It might force you to lay down your burdens and trust a God who is faithful. In the end, He promises to cross the valley with you and invite you into His garden where there will be sweet fellowship and peace.
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Question: What have you learned from your time spent in the valleys of life?
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Marty Myers Chambless counts her marriage of 22 years to husband Brett Chambless as her biggest blessing. Next to that is being mom to two adult children who continue to be a joy in her life. Marty lives in Dunwoody GA, is president of John 15 Ministries, Inc. and author of Be Patient Ready Care Management Journal.
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