Life can be so unpredictable. You never know how circumstances, challenges, choices, consequences, courage, and then the acceptance of your ultimate “calling” can alter your journey in many ways. As I reflect on all of the things I have endured and have overcome, I stumbled upon this scripture,
“There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor, a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt.” Hosea 2:15 (NIV)
I know you must be wondering, what or who is “Achor?” Achor means muddy, turbid, gloomy, troubled. It is the name of a valley in the vicinity of Jericho. So in actuality, our God can make the Valley of Trouble, the Valley of Gloom & Doom, the Valley of Muddy Mess, the Valley of Turbid Ties into the Door of Hope!
You may have been angry or in rage about your past. I know I truly was in “my feelings.” “Anger sits in when I think of my past. Over time, the devil has taken jewels, rubies, and then had the audacity to take my treasure chest several years back! He left behind a few pieces for me to keep!” (Excerpt from “I’m Taking my Treasure Chest Back”)
At times, I wanted to get angry with this person and that person, but I should have been mostly angry at myself! Some of my deaden areas were due to my own self-inflictions. I had to learn how to watch my connections. The one thing you do not want is disconnection and distance from God (John 15:5).
My decomposing, flesh-eating, stinky-thinking mess got me exposed to darkness and the valley of trouble. But guess what?! God wants to breathe on your matters and resurrect your dry bones.
“Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land.” Ezekiel 37:11-14 (NIV)
You may have felt forgotten or that time has lapsed. You may ponder on what could have been in your younger years. I know I did. I felt like the devil had sabotaged me, not realizing that I had self-sabotaged myself! I had to learn to rewire my thought processes. Also, redirect my mind and heart. The devil tormented me a lot with the mistakes I made. I kept replaying that video in my head from time to time. I felt dry, brittle, washed up, forsaken, and hopeless!
But I needed to remember the scripture, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair.” 2 Corinthians 4:8 (NIV)
I had to be reminded of what God had called me to be.
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.” (Ephesians 1:18 (NIV)
You are chosen and were created for His glory!
Don’t let the enemy torment you with what you did not do right. I had lost hope and faith because of my disconnection with my Father. I began to isolate myself and had feelings of unworthiness, being a failure and mistake came upon me. God really had to shake me in order, for me to realize that NOTHING ELSE matters, but Him and His opinion of me.
I had to let go of accomplishments, achievements, good impressions, peoples’ praises and approval. I then realized the main aim is to place God as the center of my life and to focus on what Matthew 6:33 (NIV) says,
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Sometimes, you have to be knocked in the head really hard to pay attention. I had to go through growing pains and suffering. Some based on my own disobedience, impatience, arrogance and pride.
But guess what?!
You may have thought you messed up too bad to get back to the “palace!” You may have thought your imperfections tripped you up to remain in the bottomless pit!
I am here to tell you that God wants you to smile and hope again. He wants to take you out of your trouble and inconsistencies to an entry of hope and life. God is The God of second chances. He has redemptive love, power, and hope. Open the Door of Hope today!