For the past three and a half years, I've been sitting in a valley. I haven't seen the hill tops or even solid ground. I see people come and go, but only a few have been willing to reach down and help me up.
This valley isn't dry and barren. This valley has living water flowing and beautiful flowers blooming. I'm not sitting in this valley alone, for Jesus is sitting with me, ready to get up and walk with me. He has never left me and He has never forsaken me.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Psalms 23:4 (KJV)
I slid into this valley after my friend, Amber, died from breast cancer. Depression followed, and then leaving my church, and then losing many friends, and then the valley got deeper. I had many friends spot me in this valley, but they weren't willing to leave their mountains or comfort. I tried climbing out by myself, but I only got hurt in the process. Being in that valley has been the darkest, coldest, and loneliest time of my life. It took me a while, but I realized that I wasn't in that valley alone.
“The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord; he guides it wherever he pleases.” Proverbs 21:1 (NLT)
I woke up one morning, still sitting in the valley, but I was surrounded by a stream of water and flowers. In that moment, Jesus made me realize that even though this was a low point in my life, it doesn't mean life and fruit weren't going to be produced in the valley. I didn't have to sit by myself, hoping to be on the mountain top again because wherever I was, Jesus was with me, and whenever I'm with Jesus, I'm always on the mountain top.
I know I'm not meant to be in this valley forever, and I know I will see the mountains again, but for the time being, Jesus is my comfort in this valley. I'm no longer in the dark, and I have hope for the future, but I'm not going to get comfortable in this valley. I'm not going to let hurt and sin bury me in anger and shame. I'm not going to keep expecting people to help me out of the valley when they're in their own valleys. Jesus may be sitting with me in this valley, but when I look to the hills, He's standing there too, waiting to help me back up, wherever I am. In this valley I have sinned and I have made mistakes, but God is still faithful.
"Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain." Isaiah 40:4 (NIV)
This too shall pass. You may be looking at the walls of your valley with no hope. You may think no one sees you in the dark, by yourself, but God sees you. It's not your job to get yourself out of that hole or do any of this alone. You're in a season where your friends have left you and you feel like God is far away, but it's up to you to surrender yourself. God didn't intend for you to be in this valley, and He doesn't intend for you to stay in that valley. He is with you and he is speaking to you; even in the valley.