Lord, even when your path takes me through the valley of deepest darkness…
The path of Jesus does include deep and dark valleys. This is not an indication that we have done something wrong, lost our way, or made a wrong decision. These are not indicators of anything wrong at all. Two words really stand out to me: Even when...
What are the circumstances in your life that represent deep and dark valleys? Can you write them down in bullet form with space ahead of each one? E.g. below:
____________ ___________ I am geographically separated from a new granddaughter.
Be as specific as you can. Keep going as long as things come to mind. Nothing is too small or too big. Nothing is silly. Nothing makes you a complainer or a down and outer. Let your real life coincide with your spirituality.
Now, in the double-space before each line, slowing write in (for all of them), “Even when”
Now read through each one out loud, slowly…
Even when I am geographically separated from a new granddaughter…
The “even when” has more to it but that is for next week. This week the “even when” is attached to the confidence that the psalmist has that he is still on God’s path. Let that sink in a bit. You are on God’s path for you – right now, in present tense. Jesus is with you in the valleys.
Habakkuk shares his “even when/though/if” – there are actually many “even when's” in scripture.
Even though the fig trees are all destroyed, and there is neither blossom left nor fruit; though the olive crops all fail, and the fields lie barren; even if the flocks die in the fields and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will be happy in the God my salvation.
“Even when” is actually a huge faith statement. “Even when” knows that the One who is with us in the valley will be the One to lead us out. If I think that Jesus is somewhere out there and I am in a valley…it’s pretty hard to say “even when.” But if He is the Shepherd, the friend who sticks closer than a brother, the one stuck to me like glue, then I will proclaim “even when.” I am on God’s path – a path that curves and twists through times of joy and times of sorrow. But it is a path on which I do not walk alone. God doesn’t want me judging myself on "even though" path either!
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