The Darkest Valley!
Yea though I walk…
April 16th, 2019
It’s Monday, April 15th, 8:30PM, and I am writing the devotional for tomorrow morning, April 16th. This is one of those dark valleys.
It’s not one of those pitch-black valleys, this is one that is heavily shaded by overgrowth.
Tomorrow (which will be today when you read this) will be potentially a final interview with a potential employer. I’ve been out of work for over 8 months now and while the Lord has provided above and beyond expectation through this period of unemployment, creditors are getting antsy and becoming increasingly threatening.
Through the sale of some of my treasured guitars, the generosity of others including our church, cutting the budget at every point possible; God has sustained us these many months.
I’ve prayed, others have prayed. I have applied for literally hundreds of jobs with but a few interviews here and there. My resume has been reworked repeatedly to balance competing opinions about what ‘employers want to see in a resume’.
And while I’m sure that all those bits of expert advice are well meaning and have foundations in practical terms, the fact is, I want this job. Yes, this job I‘m interviewing for, I want. While I really desire God’s will in my life, at the same time I want to have health insurance, and an income independent of the state’s unemployment compensation programs. Surely, God‘s will fall into that scope.
So, this evening as I sat here considering what I would write about for this devotional I came to the realization that this is one of those Darkest Valleys talked about in the 23rd Psalm.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
Psalm 23:4 (NLT)
I am in one of those valleys right now. When I considered this Psalm, the nerves subsided a bit. Jesus the Shepherd knows my desire. He hears my heart pleading for relief in this vocation-void desert.
My prayer has been that He put me where He wants me to be. Where I will grow in Him and for Him. Intentionally I’ve avoided getting hung up on the typical things one would consider when looking for a new job.
Instead, I’ve tried to keep an open mind and consider anything I think I might be able to do, and even a few things I know I could never do if it were not for the strength and power of Jesus acting in me.
You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
1 John 4:4 (HCSB)
Some might tell me I’ve been in a big dark valley these eight months, but I have seen mountain tops frequently as we’ve traversed to where ever those green pastures are that He leads me to.
“The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” And He is the one whose rod and staff are protecting me. Why should I fear? Fear is not even a logical conclusion when you consider who we travel with. We call him Lord, Master, and the Good Shepherd, and He is all those things but before he was any of those things for us, he was Creator, Alpha and Omega! The one that wields that rod and staff could vanquish my enemy with a word, as His very breath spoke the universe into existence.
Joy in “The Darkest Valley”
When you consider where we are positioned in the heavenly realm, our situation in the physical realm is of no consequence at all. We are positioned not just in the army of the Almighty, but we stand with Him at our side, upholding us with the power of His Love and Grace. When the darkest valley looms before us there is no place of greater confidence and strength than in lockstep with our Lord.
Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.
James 1:2-4 (HCSB)
In the end, we are found “lacking nothing.”
Yes, this may be “The Darkest Valley!” But we are not alone, and the one that crafted everything is leading the way to those green pastures.
In the Grace of Jesus!