It’s easy to praise God when life is good. When things seem to be going our way, sadly we sometimes tend to forget Him altogether. We don’t see and feel that immediate need for Him that we feel when we’re in a valley, crying out in desperation for peace and guidance.
Our sweet pastor recently touched on the fact that spiritual growth comes in the valleys. Makes a lot of sense if you think about it….You don’t see much growing at the very top of a mountain. The flowers, trees, beauty, and growth all lies in the valleys. That’s where we grow in the Lord. When we suffer, we lean on Him. We increase in faith, trust, patience, joy, hope and strength.
A few years ago, before I was a Mama, I lost a baby. It blind sighted me. I’ve shared this before, but I don’t talk about it much. It was a dark period in my life. A time when, I told myself all the right things, but couldn’t make that mind/heart connection. I knew it was God’s plan, but couldn’t feel peace. I didn’t know how to deal with that kind of grief. I turned my face from the Lord, and ended up in a mess.
When we try to figure things out for ourselves and leave God out, that’s what happens. A mess. “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” (Jeremiah 3:33). When we TRULY seek him out in the things we can’t understand, we can find peace. We may not always grasp it in that moment, and sometimes He will reveal his plan to us later on…but sometimes, not. And IF not, He is still good. (I believe some things we just aren’t meant to understand this side of Heaven).
I wanted an answer. I asked God to show me why I didn’t get to meet that baby. And when I couldn’t find peace about it, I felt angry. I’m ashamed I got to a place in my life where I actually thought that I knew what I needed more than He did. Even now, almost 7 years later, it’s painful for me to think back on the way my heart responded. I cringe at the thoughts I know I had, the feelings I know I felt, and the things I did.
What faith Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego must have had before they were thrown into that fiery furnace. They told Nebuchadnezzar “God is able to deliver us. But if not, we still will not worship any other gods.” (Daniel 3:16-18)
When something happens in my life now that hurts, and I don’t understand it….I can think back on that time in my life and I’m encouraged and strengthened. Through His wisdom and grace, I can see that HE IS STILL GOOD. No matter what, He is good. Though I turned my back on Him, he didn’t turn his back on me. When I sought him in remorse and repentance, he was there waiting. AND, he blessed me with FOUR babies after the one I lost. I can’t imagine my life without any of them. I guess that’s where that saying comes from….we can’t see the forest for the trees. When we are so involved in the details of our pain, sometimes we can’t see that God has an ultimate plan for us. A plan for our good.
In that valley, (which seemed to last forever), there was so much growth. I know I wouldn’t be where I am, or who I am today, had I not traveled that road through that lowest of valleys. A true rock bottom for me spiritually. But I’m thankful. So thankful. Because when I made it back to the mountain, it felt that much sweeter. Sweeter than it had ever felt before. That peace was more peaceful. And even though I have scars from that valley. Scars that I’ll have forever….the relationship I now have with the Lord that resulted from that valley, is worth it all.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).