the path of pain leads us to a path of hope. this is true because it provides a chance for the Creator, the One who loves us most intimately, to simply show us who He really is. in all His goodness.
for the past few years, i have frequently read psalm 23. verse 4 is poignant and causes a moment to pause.
“even when His path takes me through the valley of deepest darkness fear will not conquer me, for You already have! forever close to me, You will lead me through it all the way. the strength of Your authority is my peace, my reassurance. the comfort of Your love takes away my fear. i’ll never be lonely when You are near.”
sometimes He calls us to walk through the valley of deep darkness. it is in this time that there is only one thing for certain. His presence is with us and will never leave us. if we allow it, it can be the place of truest redemption. where our pain and heartache are poured out like dark liquid to Him. He then absorbs our pain and grants healing to our hearts offering life and hope–truly making the valley of trouble (achor) into a “gateway of hope.”
not all pain is damaging, nor does it scare Him. instead, He comes closer to us when we are the most honest with Him, bearing our souls in the truest vulnerability. some pain is necessary. only clean wounds are ones that heal correctly and fully. so instead of despising the pain and causing it to burn with anger and contempt, may we allow it to open the pathway to quicker access to Him and to quicker healing and life.
it will take everything we have to walk through this valley, this path. it will require radical obedience and trust in His character and intentions for our future. He does not ask us to travel this path alone. instead, there is a chance for a powerful exchange. His presence to us becomes greater than our fears because we are confident that He is with us. it is our reassurance to continue traversing the difficult ground ahead. this perspective helps us lay aside everything we have ever counted more dear to us (to our soul), than He himself. it truly restores right order. we could be left to hold onto all the things our hearts have set up above the place He rightfully deserves. things that we have crafted with our own hands and then began to give glory. instead, He chooses this path to be a path of stripping and tearing away. His closeness becomes our supreme desire. we cannot imagine living without it.
so may the courage be present to strip away all that is unnecessary and fully bare our hearts to Him. may the trust in His character be present to be fully known by Him and to make known fully to Him all that we have kept away from everyone else fearing the rejection it might bring. when we have come to the other side of the valley, our hearts will no longer be held captive, but instead set free. it is then that He will grant us our own song to sing and testify to the goodness of His work in us, telling of His faithfulness and great care for our well-being. (hosea 2:15)
may we be confident of His presence in this valley and find true peace and healing.