Valleys. I'm not sure what to think about them. I know for me, I usually wind up there because I've gone tumbling down some sort of hill in my life. Or if I spend any time wandering aimlessly in my Spirit, I typically find myself standing dazed, wondering how I fell from that mountaintop view where I'd been resting and enjoying the view of life. Right now though, I'm there. In the valley. Thankfully, I believe there is joy and peace and hope that can be found there. If you're willing to look for it. Here's what I mean.
In December I ran my 3rd marathon. I know going in that when the race is over I will go through a few weeks of really having no desire to run. None! This time it's been a little different. It hasn't been weeks - it's been months! I have NO desire to run. But those mornings when I have the determination to lace up the shoes and "GO", I never regret it. My walk with the Lord is this way as well. The time in His Word and communing with Him is never regretted. Never!
For me, the valley is also the place of greatest desperation and hunger. I am never more aware of my need of Jesus and His love for me. I think there is a fire that waits for me there that is the heart of God longing to refine me - to burn away the garbage that I have decorated my heart and life with like bad wallpaper. The Lord leads me there and shows me how disgusting the walls really look - He pulls back the veil that blinds and gives you more of His eyes.
I remember the first time I ever heard the song "Valleys Fill First" by Caedmon's Call. What encouragement! The idea that even though I'm standing at a place where (in my mind) I "feel" far from the good things of God - a place where I see the rain and sun and wind sweeping over the summit - I realize that even still, the valley is where that river runs, filling it up and bringing refreshment. It's all about perspective. Do I want to be touched by the Lord...or filled? Happy...or content in Him?
Valleys. I never choose them. The Lord seems to forget to warn me that I'm approaching that hill I will slide down on my face. But He's always there to meet me when I come to a stop, stand to my feet, and look up. Valleys fill first. I long to be filled! What about you?