Updated: May 9, 2019
“The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. Psalm 23:1-2
For most of my life I’ve lived in the green pasture-- You know that part at the beginning of Psalm 23. I walked in the green grass, where there was plenty to eat, and the drinking hole was just a few steps away, so never was I too thirsty. Most days the sun shined down as I frolicked about in my field of life.
Don’t get me wrong, of course, there were the moments of spiritual drought. Of course, there were the ordinary hardships of living a life in this broken world. But, nothing life changing or earth shattering. No struggle that would have shocked the crowd with my story.
No, just a good life, with good health, and a good home, and good plans for the future.
And there, in the green fields where all was well, God was good. I was always sure of His presence.
But, something interesting happened when I entered parenthood and faced one of the hardest trials of my life. The valley.
That dark valley—it happened. That earth-shattering moment—it occurred.
As I found myself in the hospital fighting for my child's’ life,
Or in that doctor's office grappling with the reality of a horrific medical diagnosis,
Or isolated in my own home walking a journey I never planned for,
I began to question the goodness of God.
Clearly, in the green pastures and by the still waters, God is good. I mean his goodness is evident everywhere we look. But as I entered the Valley where the sun no longer shone, and the green fields were scarce, I didn’t feel so certain-- so sure that He was still walking beside me. There the walk didn’t feel so good, and as a result, God’s goodness too felt distant.
In the darkness of this low place, it’s a bit harder to see, yet the promise of the Psalm continued to stick out to my wandering heart.
Do you find yourself in a season of wandering through the valley?
If so, maybe your heart too needs reminding of these truths:
The truth that God is with us, not just in the green pastures, but always. Yes, He walks with us through the darkness, even when we cannot see Him. He never leaves our side.
The truth that our current circumstance does not define our God; the same good God who has led us to green pastures and quiet waters all this time—He’s still that good God when we find ourselves walking through the valley of heartache and hardship. He is unchanged by our present suffering. He is still good.
The truth is He continues to bring comfort, it might not look quite like the plush plentiful field—but as we walk the rocky rough roads, He is still comforter.
So friend, today if you find yourself somewhere in the valley of life, a bit unsure of where God is amidst your dark place, will you cling to these truths with me today?
God is with us.
God is still good.
God will bring comfort.
And remember, the valley can’t last forever!