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THROUGH....the Valley!

A Hurting Word...

So what's a valley? Here's three possibilities: "Red River Valley" - "Valley of the Dolls" - "Valley of the Jolly Green Giant" (Beware! Recognition of these titles "may" reveal your age--ouch!) And a fourth possibility? It's no joke, for sure. It's a place of larger-than-life shadows, dark ravines, and a place I do not choose to go. But here I am--how do I handle it?

A Helping Word...or Two!

(1) Look up! Bask in the sunlight of His Word. Talk to Him in prayer. Surround yourself with joyful, Christian music. As Corrie ten Boom reminded us, "No pit is too deep that His love is not deeper still." It is in the deep, dark valleys of life that we catch our brightest glimpse of His love and care. And lessons learned in those valleys are burned into the depths of our soul, so that we are never the same again.

(2) Look around! No pain is ever wasted in the valley of God's design. Find the wells left by others before you--wells that tell of His loving provision and sufficient grace. Receive strength from their testimonies; take courage from their experiences; renew hope from their victories. Then surround yourself with loving, uplifting, positive-purposed friends.

Now, you're sure you've learned every valley lesson there is to learn--and a few more! You are more than ready to...."vault the valley," right? I understand, but God's not done with you yet. He wants you to find JOY in your valley! Joy? Try this experiment--find someone now in a valley of deep hurt. Reach out with a loving heart, a listening ear, a helping hand. And see if you do not find incredible joy and strength to deal with your OWN pain. Remember, in Christ's darkest valley, the Cross, HE reached out to another, and found joy. And so will you!

(3) Look ahead! You're going "THROUGH....the valley"--there's an end to the pain. When God's purposes have been fulfilled, the pain will cease. Joy will come. And speaking of joy, did you know that a strong sense of humor can result from pain? Delve into the background lives of comedy performers and "funny people" you know, (I know a few...big grin!) and most likely, you'll find pain! (Ever read Barbara Johnson's Christian humor books? A lady with deep pain turned into delightful humor for the world to enjoy!) Learn to laugh--at yourself, and at the circumstances. Now certainly they are no laughing matter, but find something to turn into a smile! Look hard enough and you will!

Have you heard the favorite Bible passage for valley-dwellers?--"And it came to pass!" It WILL pass! God doesn't "dump" you into a landfill of wasted, broken-down junk, and then leave you there. Talk to yourself as the Psalmist David did, "Hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise Him." Today's valley will become tomorrow's praise--if you let it!

And that's just a word...or two, from my heart to yours!

His Healing Word

"Yea, though I walk THROUGH the valley of the shadow..., I will fear no evil...Psalm 23: 4 (KJV).

Footprints

"Lord, the valley is dark. I cannot feel Your Presence. I cannot see Your footprints. Help me, in the midst of my pain, to look up, to receive Your love, and to know You walk this valley with me. It is in Your perfect Will for my life. Help me learn needful lessons, and then, in Your good time, deliver me that I may rejoice in Your goodness....and leave a well in the valley for someone else! In Jesus' Name. Amen.

 All Scriptures are taken from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.

Copyright 2004 by Peggie C. Bohanon, Springfield, Mo. Used by permission.
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