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Going Through the Valley

God, Hope, Psalm 23, valley

Hope is necessary in every condition.  Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784)I have been through turmoil lately.  It was caused by external forces at work.   The result is that my work position was deleted, erased, blown away, restructured out of existence.  So I am in limbo land.  The best way I can describe it is this:  My character in the soap opera was written out of the script, killed off, by those that write the soap opera.  So now I am an out-of-work actress (spiritual person) in search of another soap opera (work place).    Am I down for the count?  No way! This is the way I see my situation:  I am in God’s capable hands.  God created the world and created me.  God cares about me because I am His daughter.  God has promised to take care of me, and God keeps His promises.  That’s all I need right now to keep my chin up and stay positive and focused on my future, not wallowing in the past.   We all go through valleys in our lives.  You know what I am talking about—the valley of the shadow of death from Psalm 23.  Things are not always peachy keen, are they?  At least they have not been in my life, but I am the eternal optimist, because God is in my heart.  You notice David (writer of many psalms) wrote, “I walk THROUGH the valley . . . .”  David did not say, “When I am stuck in the valley or dead in the valley,” or anything else, but “walk through” the valley of the shadow of death.  We walk through the valley, as sheep, following our Shepherd, our Lord God. In the valley we are fearful; inexplicable things happen to us and around us.  Yet our Shepherd sees us THROUGH the valley.  It is not a permanent situation but a temporary one, as long as we stay focused on our Shepherd, our Lord.  We are as silly sheep and will not go through anything, much less a valley, without following our Shepherd. Praise God; He is there!  And God knows what’s on the other side of the valley! I have every reason to be optimistic about tomorrow.  I know that God wastes nothing in our lives.  We go through experience after experience and meet person after person.  Why?  Why does all this happen?  What does it all mean?  Notice that we are moving forward, every day in every way.  We must notice this because the clock is ticking, and time marches on for us.  At some point we need sleep to refresh and rejuvenate.  So we rest and wake refreshed.  It is another day, another period of time to explore our world, have more experiences, make choices, meet people, and build on what happened yesterday.  Yes, we BUILD ON what happened before.  As individuals, we build on our education, work and life experiences, relationships, and the like.  It is important to pay attention to our own history, study it, and ruminate over it from time to time.  Any teacher would tell you that history is important to study to learn the lessons of the past so we can make better decisions for the future.  It is the same for us as individuals; our history is a base for building on the future as long as we do not ignore the lessons we learned from our past.   As in all situations (yes, all) we have choices to make.  We can decide to accept the situation, come to terms with it, and move beyond it  with more knowledge (knowledge is power), or we can stay stuck in the situation, eek out of it any and all pain possible, make others miserable (misery does like company), and  ruin our chances at a more pleasing and productive  future.  Yes, attitude is everything in every situation.  We can wake up each morning and say, “Lord, thanks for another day of life!” Or we can wake up each morning and say, “Oh, no.  I have to get up and do it all over again. No!”  Yes, attitude is everything, and it boils down to our spirituality, doesn’t it?  By spirituality, I mean our relationship with the Holy Spirit, the Divine.  Are we connected enough with God to know we are important to Him and to the world, His world that He created? God wastes nothing in us, not our joys or sadness, our positive or negative experiences.  Nothing is swept under the carpet.  It is true that what does not kill us, while painful to experience, can make us stronger.  Indeed, 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 says:  “Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.”   God has something great in store for us.  Believe it!  God holds the future for us.  Although none of us knows what the future holds, we do know who holds the future.   God is already there!  We have nothing to fear!   God is continuing to transform us through it all.  God never fails us.  God can turn something negative into a positive; God can take a sad situation and turn it into something good for us and those around us.  God does move in mysterious ways His wonders to perform.  Isaiah 41:10 says:   “So do not fear, for I am with you;
       do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
       I will strengthen you and help you;
       I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
 God promises us that He will be with us and God keeps His promises.   Yes, something sad has happened to me.  People have let me down and perhaps I let them down.  Perhaps this is all part of God’s design for my life.  Maybe my time with that group of people was at an end and God needs to move me elsewhere to continue my ministry, my work for Him.  I move forward then, and realize that God has only good things in store for me.  I look forward with anticipation knowing that whatever happens, God is with me every step of the way.  I live for Him. 

 

To God be all glory!    With Prayer,  Cynthia Kalies

 

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