Sometimes the pathway to your promised land takes you down into the valley. You may even need to pitch your tent there sometimes until its precious lessons are learned.
We’re told that even Jesus, “though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;” (Hebrews 5:8 KJV)
Can it be any different for us?
Our momentary afflictions can certainly not be compared to those of our Lord, but for sure there are no smooth promises found on the pages of the Holy book; no get-out clause, discount ticket, or special offer that will exempt you.
The valleys are as much a part of your training as the mountain peaks.
Down Into The Dry
We love to sing “🎶 We’re going up to the high places 🎶” but rarely will you hear someone belting out, “🎶 I’m going down to the dry places 🎶”
Isaac’s journey took a turn, and down he went into the valley of Gerar.
“And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there.” (Genesis 26:17 KJV)
Geography and history tell us that this valley was actually a dry riverbed where the water would flow in the rainy season, but such seasons would have been rare in the Negev.
Dry seasons will come, bringing with them more hot, dusty questions than answers.
Failures will fly in and consume your self-confidence like the dry heat of the desert.
God’s voice may seem silent, and the chilly nights uncovered, embarrassed, and exposed may leave your soul naked to the ravages of doubt.
But there are lessons here to be searched and savoured, sweeter waters than any well before. They are here in the valley beneath the surface.
Testing times prove our character and whilst your branches may look bare your roots are stretching deep into the unseen faithful soils of God’s love and purpose.
Again and again, we witness Isaac and those of his household replying to repeated challenges with resolute confidence.
If I dig again I will surely drink again from God’s goodness!
“And Isaac’s servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water.” (Genesis 26:19 KJV)
The valley offers no easy bargains.
The choice is stark and very real: despair or dig deeper.
Give up or grab hold of fresh grace.
The Devil’s Worst Was No Match For God’s Wisdom
The cross was God’s means to free the world. Man’s most heinous crime was God’s purest love and genius, His greatest victory. All that the world and satan threw at the One resulted in redemption for many.
Your testings too are working in you a far greater weight of glory, leading to a testimony that will liberate your creative voice to speak deeper to the hearts of your hearers than a battalion of books or a legion of libraries.
I refuse to make light of the angst that can come to crush your soul. The discouragement that will seek to hamper your steps. The prodding stick of pride that will attempt to convince you of your entitlement to only good times and favorable winds. Buffetting winds can leave you reeling. Dry days, weeks, or even years leave their scorching scars.
The lessons of the valley are searching.
Yet Isaac pitched his tent and continued to dig, knowing that there are streams even in the desert places if you dig long and deep enough to open their flow.
Yes, dear friend, the greatest gains are often made when we are stood still. When all other options are exhausted. When the wins of yesterday are consumed with the questions of today.
It’s here in the valley we have the opportunity to find Jesus in ways we would never otherwise choose to discover Him!