Three Things to Remember About the Valleys
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me” (Psalm 23:4 NIV).
In Israel, on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho, there’s a canyon called the Valley of the Shadow of Death. In his day, King David probably traveled through it many times. Some of the canyons along the Jericho Road were narrow at the bottom and as tall as 800 feet. The only time you can see sunshine at the bottom is when it is noon and the sun is straight overhead. In the Bible, valleys are often a metaphor for difficult times, times of darkness, despair, defeat, or discouragement.
Psalm 23:4 says, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me” (NIV). The Bible teaches us that God is God not just a part of our mountaintop experiences. He is also with us in the valleys. There are three things you need to remember about the valleys:
Valleys are a part of life. The Bible says in Deuteronomy 11:11, “The land you will soon take over is a land of hills and valleys” (NLT).
Valleys are inevitable. All of us just came out of a valley or we’re in the middle of one right now or we’re headed into another one, because that’s life. You can’t avoid valleys. Instead, you can count on them.
Valleys happen to everybody. They’re impartial. Good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good people. We’re in a fallen and broken world, so we have problems. Nobody’s immune. Nobody’s insulated from pain. Nobody sails through life problem free.
“The good man does not escape all troubles—he has them too. But the Lord helps him in each and every one” (Psalm 34:19 TLB).
Valleys are unpredictable. You can’t plan them. You can’t time them. Problems typically catch you off guard. In fact, your valleys and your problems come usually at the worst time—when you don’t have time, when you’re unprepared, and when it’s inconvenient. Wouldn’t it be easier if you could schedule all your valleys in life—when you’re caught up on your sleep, your health is good, and nobody is bugging you?
Proverbs 27:1 says, “Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what the day will bring forth” (NLT).
When you know better what to expect when it comes to the valleys of life, you know better how to prepare for them.
Talk It Over
Where are you on your journey right now: in a valley, climbing out of a valley, somewhere in between a valley and a mountaintop, or on a mountaintop?
How can you prepare yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually for the valleys of your life?
Why do you think God allows you to go through valleys and not just mountaintops?
This devotional © 2019 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.