Do we really know He is with us in the valleys? It’s easy to feel His presence on the mountain tops when we are filled with His glory, but don’t we lose that glow when we drop into the dark of the valley?
There are so many things that take us through the shadows. Things we do not understand and begin questioning “Why?” Often, there is no immediate answer. Even more often the answer will not be available until we go home.
Usually we can see the other side. We can see where the trail will become lighter and we reach out for His light to see us through. We know from previous experience that the shadows do not last and that the road lifts in just a while.
But what if it doesn’t? Or what if the shadows are so bad that the light on the other side seems too far away?
The Bible tells us what Christ did when faced with such a time. He prayed.
And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. (Matthew 26:39 KJV)
He prayed that He would not have to endure the coming valley. He prayed that He would not have to endure the cup from which He must drink to reach to other side of the shadows.
Three times. Not just once, not twice, but three times that night He knelt and prayed for a possibility that would not come. He closed each prayer with the words we find so hard to use, not as I will, but as thou wilt.
When we pray, in His name for something we need, asking that if it be possible, not as I will, but as thou wilt, are we willing to accept a “No,” or a “Not yet,” answer?
It is easy to say “Yes, I can,” from a mountain top – not so easy from the shadow of the valley. It is more difficult when it is the valley of the shadow of death. Wait!! That’s where we are to fear no evil, at all. We hear of that valley in many verses in Job, but it’s Psalms where we are told He is with us.
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)
Whatever else happens, we have the last verse as God’s promise to those who walk with Him.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. (Psalms 23:6 KJV)
Not just today, not only tomorrow, not through the year or years, but for ever. Just as Christ promised.
That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:15 KJV)
Christ endured those next days of trial, execution, and burial that He prayed would have passed from Him. The promise on the other side was most assuredly a mountain. The glorious mountain of resurrection, the fulfillment of God’s plan, handed down to us through God’s grace and mercy.
What more can we ask?